* Date : 2018-02-06
The Power of Sports
Inspring patriotism through sports! Chung Hyeon and Park Hang-seo
Now, more than ever, the South Korean media is publishing a stream of sports-related stories. Standing out in particular, is tennis star Chung Hyeon and soccer manager Park Hang-seo. In January, 58th-ranked Chung Hyeon pulled off a series of upsets in the Australian Open, one of the four major tournaments in world tennis. Chung became the first South Korean to ever appear in a semi-final after defeating the world's number-4 and number-14 tennis players. Meanwhile, the "Park Hang-seo" syndrome has gripped the nation of Vietnam. Under Park's leadership, the Vietnamese national soccer team, long considered one of the minnows on the world stage, moved onto the finals of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship. Chung Hyeon and Park Hang-seo have raised Korea's standing in the world through sports and their exploits have earned the plaudits of many South Koreans back home.
The power of sports to promote peace
If Chung Hyeon and Park Hang-seo have taught us anything, it's that sports has the power to unite a nation and enhance a country's image. For that reason, sports has often been employed as a tool to promote peace on the political stage and in international diplomacy. Many precedents exist, including the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics which helped ease Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, as well as the 2002 World Cup which strengthened the partnership between rivals South Korea and Japan. The upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which will get under way on Feb. 9, is also advocating peace as one of its key goals. Will the PyeongChang Games be remembered as another moment in history where peace is realized through the power of sports? In this week's edition of "Foreign Correspondents", we will sit down with our panelists to talk about the power of sports to unite nations and promote peace.