[Letter] A lopsided patriotism at the London Olympics

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[Letter] A lopsided patriotism at the London Olympics

As the Korea JoongAng Daily reported, Korea’s 2-0 victory against Japan in the football match at the London Olympics was fantastic enough to cool down the scorching heat waves hitting the country. But midfielder Park Jong-woo’s unexpected stunt of holding up a sign that read “Dokdo is our land” after the victory poured icy cold water over the jubilant mood.

Park’s misled patriotism might not be his real intention as the sign was “simply handed over to him” by a Korean fan in the stands. However, as the International Olympic Committee’s constitution clearly stipulates, any politically incorrect actions are strictly prohibited in the Olympiad. More surprising, however, is captain Koo Ja-cheol’s remarks that “we had thought of doing a goal ceremony similar to that as a group, but we gave it up after debates because Dokdo islets are rightly our territory.”

If the Korean football team had done that after a match before a world audience of billions, the repercussion could have been unpredictable after the lethal mix of sports and chauvinism. Sports are just one area of competition. There are many other ways to compete with Japan and other countries.

Yoon Hyun-jin, a student at Kyunghee University
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