So this morning, the most Korean moment of the Olympics took place.
It’s worth watching and learning, even if you skipped the games this year.
29-year-old Seung-hoon Lee won gold in the men’s speed skating mass start (a strange and technical event, by the way).
Normally, the winner skates over to their team box, to the cheers of their home crowd, grabs a flag and skates a victory lap.
Seung-hoon was careful to first find his 16-year-old teammate who came in 8th. They skated together to their team box for praise and to collect the flag.
Seung-hoon insisted his younger teammate join him with the flag for the victory lap.
The younger had led the pack of skaters for most of the race, exhausting himself and the others so the elder could conserve energy til the end. At the last sprint, the younger put up his hands and let the others, including Seung-hoon pass. Job done. Well done.
They’re not brothers, but I’m 100% sure they call each other that.
As the older ‘brother’ led the younger for the victory lap, a Dutch (third-place team) skater took the younger’s helmet for him. Another Dutch skater joined them for a hug.
So the victory lap went on, the elder bringing the younger along, sharing his personal moment of victory and acknowledging the kid’s role in it. It was a raw, unplanned and authentic moment.
Beyond the politics of the games and the manufactured moments of unity, this is the picture of Korea I hope the world will take away.
The world will be a better place if more people learn to win like a Korean.