Throughout my time in PyeongChang there have been several moments that transcended the cultural and language barriers. I had one of those moments Tuesday night while I was working a transport shift, essentially counting people on and off buses, at the Gangneung Media Village.
I began to notice that all of the volunteers seemed to have gone inside – which if you spend anytime here you know NEVER happens. While walking up to a different section for buses I happened to walk by the ticketing office and there they all were, crammed inside around the TV. I walked up to the glass and realized they were all watching the women’s short track competition. I had the pleasure of watching the short track in person last week so I immediately understood what all the excitement was about. Namely, Choi Min-jeong, and her status as world #1 for short track as well as her achievements at the current games – already logging a gold medal for Korea in the 1500m short track.
The girls inside noticed me watching and invited me to come inside with them. I felt like this was a moment worthwhile of abandoning my post counting so I took them up on the offer and I am so glad that I did. We were watching the 3000m relay and the competition did not disappoint. The match was filled with penalties that left everyone on the edge of their seat until final results were announced. Team Korea ultimately took gold and the girls were ecstatic, screaming and a couple even shed a tear.
It was a goosebumps moment for me and they even took the liberty of teaching me a cheer – accepting my broken attempt at Korean as an A for effort undoubtedly. They allowed me to take a photo of them before I went back to counting, which I shared below, such an awesome moment!