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olympics

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Meet Sohn Kee-chung, the Korean Olympian forced to represent the Japanese empire

Korean Olympian Sohn Kee-chung had to represent Japan

Sohn Kee-chung, an ethnic Korean marathon runner, is a poignant reminder of his country’s dark past. His record-breaking performance in the 1936 Berlin Games was widely celebrated, but there was one caveat to those looking on at his success from home — Sohn had no choice but to represent the Japanese empire. 

Born in 1912, just two years after Japan’s annexation of Korea, Sohn had only ever known living under colonial rule when he entered the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Still, a dedicated nationalist, he signed the roster for the Games with his Korean name along with a small drawing of the Korean flag. Officially, he was recognized as a member of the Japanese delegation with the romanized Japanese name “Son Kitei.” To this day, Sohn is listed on the official Olympics website with these attributes. 

Chinese gold medalist Sun Yingsha wasn’t told about her grandmother’s death so she can focus on the Olympics

Sun Yingsha wasn't told about grandmother

A Chinese table tennis star won gold in the women’s team event and silver in the women’s singles in the Tokyo Olympics, all without knowing that her grandmother had died months earlier.

The big secret: Sun Yingsha, 20, was deliberately kept in the dark by her family, who came to the decision to help her stay focused. Ultimately, her Olympic performance saw her ascend to No. 2 in the ITTF world rankings, surpassing Japan’s Mima Ito and trailing behind compatriot Chen Meng, who won the gold in the singles event, the South China Morning Post noted.

These Asian parents reacting to their Olympic children deserve their own medals

Asian parents of Olympic athletes

It’s not a secret that most Asian parents want the best for their children and that especially rings true for the parents of Asian Olympic athletes. 

Take a look at these parents expressing their pride towards their children at this year’s 2020 Tokyo Games. Although Olympic officials did not allow spectators this year, that didn’t stop parents from cheering their kids on.

‘It’s disturbing our lives’: Family of 14-year-old Olympic champ rejects $30,000, property gifts, asks mob of fans to leave her alone

Quan Hongchan wins gold in the women's 10-meter platform diving.

The family of Chinese Olympic gold medalist Quan Hongchan has refused to accept monetary and property gifts from fans across the country, saying they can simply send their regards instead.

Background: Hongchan, 14, claimed victory after finishing the women’s 10-meter (33 feet) platform dive with a dominating score of 466.20. She was China’s youngest representative in the Tokyo Games.

Japanese Olympian’s ‘germ medal’ to be replaced after Nagoya mayor bites it

Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura biting gold medal

Olympics officials have replaced the gold medal won by softball team member Miu Goto at the 2020 Tokyo Games after Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura bit the first one at an event last week.

The controversial bite: Goto, 20, paid a courtesy visit to Nagoya’s city hall on Aug. 4 to report the victory of Japan’s softball team against Team USA 2-0, according to Kyodo News.

26 Chinese female athletes receive top honor for winning gold at the 2020 Tokyo Games

Tokyo Games Chinese Athletes receive awards

The Chinese government awarded 26 female athletes the National March 8th Red-Banner Holders for their 2020 Tokyo Games performance.

Outstanding athletes: The 26 gold medalists announced by the All-China National Women’s Federation on Wednesday include shooter Yang Qian, weightlifter Hou Zhihui, fencer Sun Yiwen, swimmer Zhang Yufei and shot putter Gong Lijiao, according to Global Times.

‘Best Libero’ Justine Wong-Orantes ‘kept the ball in the air’ for Team USA to win first volleyball gold medal

volleyball player helped Team USA win gold

Meet Justine Wong-Orantes, the Filipino Chinese American athlete who was an integral part of Team USA’s gold medal win in women’s volleyball at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Amazing athlete: Wong-Orantes, 25, played a key role in helping Team USA defeat Brazil and secure the country’s first-ever gold medal in women’s volleyball on Sunday, according to NBC Olympics.

Neeraj Chopra, once bullied for being overweight, wins India’s first track and field Olympic gold medal

A man who was bullied for being overweight as a child won India’s first track and field Olympic gold medal on Saturday.

The winning throw: Neeraj Chopra, 23, secured the men’s javelin throw final after reaching 87.58 meters (287.34 feet) in his second attempt. The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, who reached 86.67 meters (284.35 feet), and Vitezslav Vesely, who reached 85.44 meters (280.31 feet), took home silver and bronze, respectively.