South Koreans also have focused on the person they believe, more than anyone else, made it all possible: Ms. Kim’s mother, Park Mee-hee.
“I majored in Yu-na,” Ms. Park wrote in a memoir that has become a best-seller. “For Yu-na, I studied harder than when I was in school. I devoted myself to her more passionately than when I was in love.”
But this kind of commitment is only to be expected in South Korea, where parental involvement in children’s careers can approach obsession.
Twelve years ago, when a coach told her that her 6-year-old daughter showed talent in skating, Ms. Park embarked on her singled-minded quest. She abandoned her own painting lessons, stopped attending community meetings and restructured the family budget. All family resources were to be applied toward making Ms. Kim a star.
Six days a week, Ms. Park drove her daughter to skating lessons, monitoring her training and recording her mistakes. She forgot her husband’s birthdays and skipped her other daughter’s graduation because it conflicted with a skating match.
. . .
Working long hours and eventually ensuring that their children end up at the top of a chosen career is a dream pursued by many South Koreans. Here, a parking lot attendant whose son becomes a doctor or lawyer is more admired than a millionaire whose children do poorly in school.
The article talks about "skating moms" and "golf dads," so give it a read. The idea that Korean parents care more about their children than do any other parents in the world is something we'll hear every once in a while, something derived from this determination and obsession, and was revisited recently when the Korea Times wrote "Skating Moms Tougher Than Hockey Moms."