Kim was reported to have complained to the management of LPGA Hana Bank/KOLON Championship 2008 in Yeongjongdo, Gyeonggi Province, because she was introduced as ``Christina Kim from Korea.’’ The paper also said Christina told some press members that her winning the tournament in Korea could be an act of ``vengeance.’’
The article further claimed that she has golfed poorly ever since then, and that no Korean sponsor will be willing to support her after all the fuss. ``She wouldn’t want to be related to Korea anymore since she knows acting Korean wouldn’t do her any good. There are more compatible players out there, meaning there’s less of a chance for her to grab Korean sponsors anyway’’ it said.
Kim’s attorneys refuted the claim. Lawyer Han Sang-hyeok claimed that Kim made no complaints at the tournament. ``She has no harsh feeling about being called Korean because she understands that it means a lot to her family,’’ he said.
He also said the exact word mentioned in the official LPGA interview was ``vindication,’’ which does not imply revenge but ``proves that you were right to do something when other people had different opinions.’’
Kim is an American citizen, by the way.
Ms. Kim forgot that if you're of Korean ancestry---
“I’m well aware there that some say, since Michelle Wie is an American why is she making such a fuss. But you know what, the only thing about her that’s American is her passport, she is “definitely” Korean.”
The paper continues:
The golfer’s favorite dish is “rice with pork Kimchi soup with extra tofu and toasted seaweed on the side.” Her mouth waters when she hears about Bossam (boiled pork) or steamed codfish, and Soondae (Korean sausage) and Deokbokki (broiled rice pasta with Korean chilli paste sauce).
Well, who doesn't like rice with pork Kimchi soup with extra tofu and toasted seaweed on the side. That attitude helped her earn five million dollars in 2006 for a ten-day visit to Korea. Another CI article talks about that manufactured image:
“Challenge plus glamour” is how the marketing people sum up Wie’s image, something they believe is especially good for selling clothing, watches and cars. The teenage prodigy, who often wears pink on the green, duly featured in an ad for Omega watches with the original supermodel Cindy Crawford.
Her Korean-ness also plays a part. Despite her American nationality, when Wie answers questions asked in English in her not-so-fluent Korean, and when she introduces herself by her Korean name Sung-mi instead of Michelle, hearts here melt.
Wie stressed that heritage during last week’s visit. In contrast to a visit three years ago when she spoke both in English and Korean, this time she several times asked to be called Sung-mi. It seems part of an emerging strategy that saw her offer greetings in Japanese when she went to Japan for the Casio World Open last November and endear herself to locals by saying she likes sushi and Japanese noodles. An advertising professional says a surname like Wie will also go down well in China.
Her girlish image is grist to the mills of a marketing industry infatuated with youth. Meeting the press, Wie recited a string of Korean dramas and movies she claimed to love and confessed to dreams of meeting such idols of Korean teenagers as Chang Dong-kun and Lee Joon-ki. Another image consultant expressed doubt Wie had actually seen the soaps.
But that pile of shit article with Wie's father hits on an important point: namely, you can't talk about female Korean golfers without bringing up kimchi. If you're writing your dissertation on this topic, throw a shout-out this way, k thx. From ESPNStar.com, March 8, 2009:
"We have kimchi, and it has special powers."
Ji-Yai Shin when asked why Koreans are so good in golf.
From the Donga Ilbo, December 5, 2004:
Park Ji-eun (Nike Golf), who joined the team the afternoon prior due to her individual schedule, added a precious victory for the Korean team despite the lack of practice rounds on the course. Park Ji-eun drew laughter when she was questioned in a official interview by a Japanese reporter, "What makes the Korean women’s golf so strong?" when she responded, "Kimchi power."
From TIME Asia, October 4, 2004:
The phenomenal international success of South Korea's female golfers is a source of pride for a country that always stands taller when its citizens are beating foreigners, especially Americans. Pak Se Ri's first major victory in 1998 helped pull South Korea out of a national funk during the Asian financial crisis. Millions of South Koreans are glued to their sets in the early-morning hours when LPGA games are broadcast live. (South Korea pays more for LPGA overseas broadcast rights than any other country, including golf-mad Japan.) "There is tremendous interest," says golf columnist Kim Maeng Nyung.
Grace Park jokes that it's something in kimchi, the fiery pickled cabbage dish, that makes South Koreans golf's superwomen.
From the Las Vegas Sun, April 15, 2003:
Adjusting to American food also proved challenging. Lee's mother still occasionally prepares traditional Korean kimchi (a fermented cabbage dish with fish and radishes), although her daughter has acquired a taste for American food.
"I like burgers," Lee said. "But not many times."
From the Chosun Ilbo, March 31, 2003, in an article titled "Golf Wonder Depends on Kimchi":
What is your favorite food? "If I don't eat kimchi and rice everyday I don't have any energy. Americans would never understand."
Those references . . . refer to kimchi's powers jokingly. Maybe. Which leads us to perhaps my most favorite example of Korean journalism. From the Korea Times:
What enables South Korean lady golfers to be so formidable in the U.S. LPGA Tour? It is nothing less than the Koreans' talent to make things skillfully with their hands, a trait handed down from generation to generation for thousands years. Celadon in Koryo and the Yi dynasty are world famous for blue and white china in quality, and you know that pottery involves the same skills as playing golf.
Not to change the subject, South Koreans' special talent to make things skillfully with their hands is also believed to greatly contribute to their making almost a clean sweep of the World Skills Competition. By the same token, Koreans are good at various sports that are played chiefly with the hands: handball, archery and table tennis, to name a few.
Professor Hwang Woo-suk of the Seoul National University who led the first cloning of embryonic human stem cells told in a public lecture that one of his assistants surprised the stem cell big shots of the world with his skills, which were beyond their imagination but actually nothing for Koreans. Professor Hwang, referring to the use of chopsticks, mentioned that the Koreansâ€™ skill with their hands contributed to their success in cloning embryonic human stem cells.
An editor golf fan of an English daily newspaper mentioned that one of the root causes for Korean ladies to play such great golf in the U.S. is closely connected to dexterity, which is also critical to preparing delicious Kimchi, a Korean side dish loved by the people around the world.
Japanese, who also use chopsticks like Koreans, once produced a golf great named Ayako Okamoto, who became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1981 and won 17 events between 1982 and 1992. She was recorded as the first woman from outside the U.S. to top the LPGA tour’s money list in 1987. Among Japanese golfers playing in the PGA of America is Shigeki Maruyama, who is often compared to South Korean golfer Kyung-ju Choi. Despite this, the Japanese do not surpass Koreans in the golf world possibly because they do not attach as much importance to the hands in preparing foods. They use sashimi knife in preparing raw fish, their all-time favorite, instead of directly using hands as Koreans do.
Similarly, the Chinese do not distinguish themselves as much as Koreans in the LPGA tour of America because they do not stress the role of hands in making foods. Their food culture features fire. Mostly they use fire to create taste instead of using their hands. Among Chinese golfers, Hong Mei Yang became the first Chinese player to win a tournament in the United States in April 2004 by capturing the IOS Futures Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas, the developmental circuit for the LPGA Tour.
Of course, there are some other factors that make all the great achievements possible including tenacity and indomitability, two characteristics of Koreans, along with quite a lot of synergy among the South Korean golfers. But without the dexterity unique to Koreans their great success would be hard to imagine.
Well, in spite of what that uppity Christina Kim may think, I'm glad to see there are at least some people interested in preserving the heritage of the traditional Korean game of golf.