Wednesday, February 15, 2006
another Olympic story
I was watching the news on the Olympics and heard about this guy's story, Toby Dawson
. He's a Korean American adoptee and first-time Olympic athlete.
The NY Times is running this story
on him. A quote:
For Dawson, a Bronze and a Chance to Find Birth Parents
By LEE JENKINS
Published: February 16, 2006
SAUZE d'OULX, Italy, Feb. 15 — Toby Dawson arrived in the United States with no name and no birthday.
Toby Dawson, who took the bronze medal in the men's moguls competition today, hopes to use the publicity to find his birth parents.
He was adoptee K81-2879, found on the streets of Seoul, South Korea. Workers at the South Korean orphanage where he lived called him Kim Soo Chul. They listed his date of birth as Nov. 30, 1978, because it seemed like a reasonable guess.
On Wednesday night, adoptee K81-2879 became an Olympic medalist. When he won the bronze in the men's moguls competition, his adoptive mother, Deborah Dawson, flashed back to the first time she saw him, on a spring day at a Denver airport 24 years ago.
"It felt," she said, "a lot like it feels right now."
After Toby Dawson completed his medal-winning ride, he removed his helmet triumphantly, possibly revealing his face to the birth parents who might have been watching on a television far away. Before the Olympics, Dawson placed 12 childhood photographs on nbcolympics.com, in the hope that a couple in South Korea would recognize some of the pictures.
There is the photo of Dawson taken on the day he was adopted. The one taken on the day he was naturalized. The one taken when he was riding his bike. The one taken when he was putting on his hockey uniform. The one taken when he was stepping into his skis. And the one taken when he was holding an American flag.
"It's very emotional," Dawson said. "Everybody wants to see who their parents are." He paused, trying desperately to add some levity. "It's where I get my good looks."
Dawson has long sideburns, bushy hair and a tongue ring. Among those in the moguls competition, he was just one of several colorful characters...
...But the moguls event will have to be considered a success if Dawson somehow uses it to discover his birth parents. In recent months, he received numerous phone calls from people who claimed to be his birth mother or father even though they were not. Now that his picture will be broadcast on international television, the tips could multiply.
"I've struggled with that this year," Dawson said. "I've got people searching, but I didn't want to be involved with the Olympics coming up. Now I might get more involved."
Dawson came to the United States when he was about 3 years old, adopted by a husband and wife who were ski instructors in Vail, Colo. One of the first toys Dawson received in the United States was a trampoline. As he jumped up and down in the backyard, Deborah Dawson watched from her kitchen window, recognizing his passion for physical activity and a determination to stay on his feet.
Sitting in the stands Wednesday in Sauze d'Oulx, Deborah Dawson wore a gold jacket and a cowbell around her neck. She saw her son choose a path down the mountain that no one else wanted. It was on the right side of the hill, covered with enough excess snow and pine needles to halt even the most accomplished skier.
"We tried to get him to move more to the right, but he stuck to his guns," said Jeff Wintersteen, the United States coach. "Toby's an individualist. He liked that line and he was going to go for it."
The line was difficult. It was undesirable. It was filled with unnecessary obstacles.
For skier K81-2879, it was perfect.
Congrats to him on the medal. I hope he finds what he's looking for.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA
less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know