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[MEET KOREA'S STAR OLYMPIANS] Korea's First Naturalized Rugby Sevens Player, Andre Jin Coquillard Updated: 2021-08-17 17:57:37 KST

They finished last at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games this year and they didn't manage to win a single victory in five matches.
That's South Korea's Rugby Sevens team.
That would normally mean a cold shoulder from fans and supporters especially if it's such poor performance at an international event like the Olympics.
But, Korea's rugby players were met with cheer, support and enthusiasm as they fought through at their Olympic debut.
We continue our Meet Korea's Star Olympians series on Newscenter.
Tonight, we have in the studio one of the players from the team, Andre Jin Coquillard who also has a special story to share with us.

Andre, great to have you on the show.

I introduced the Korean National Rugby Sevens Team as having finished last at the Olympics without a single victory. Did that hurt?

It was historic for Team Korea in that we qualified and were able to play at the Olympic Games for the first time 98 years after rugby was first introduced to this country.
How did it feel to play on the grandest stage?

Even before the Games this time, you were well-known for being the nation's first naturalized rugby sevens player to compete in Tokyo.
Would you share with us how you came about choosing your mom's country as your country to represent?
I'm aware Hong Kong offered you a roster spot in their national team when you were working at a sports management company in Shanghai. What made you decline the offer and instead represent Korea after leaving your job?

South Korea last overall in the twelfth place but the entire nation witnessed each and every player on the national team fight hard in every match but especially in the match for the eleventh place against Japan. You were in tears after the game. Can you tell me how you felt?

What was the ambience or the mood like among the South Korean players at the Olympic Games?

Your mother is one of the first international models to come out of Korea. What influence did she have on you growing up and how happy was she to see you perform at the Olympics?

Tell us about your childhood, Andre. Rugby is not as popular as other sports in both Korea and the United States. How did you first take up the sport and eventually go on to play for the U.S. under-17 national team and later at UC Berkeley?

8. Where does rugby currently stand in Korea yet and as an athlete, what do you believe must be done for it to gain more of a presence here?

9. Now that the Olympics are over, what plans or goals do you have ahead?

10. Lastly, any words for the next generation of Korean Olympic rugby players?

We look forward to the day Korean boys and girls dream of playing rugby professionally and at the Olympics, Andre. Thank you so much for joining us.
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