October 2, 1988 |
At this 24th Olympiad, there has been no shortage of records - men and women swimming faster, jumping higher, running more rapidly. But after these marks have been broken, what will remain from the 16 days in Seoul, what always lingers from these international sporting spectacles, are recollections of the emotion they can elicit. And that is perhaps not so surprising, when you consider that four years of backbreaking training can be compressed into a single leap skyward, a momentary slip or stumble, an arbitrary ruling by an impassive referee.
September 16, 1988 |
At 2:22 p.m. today in Seoul, 22 minutes after midnight in Philadelphia, an Olympic Torch relay runner entered the city limits and began making his way toward City Hall for a 7 p.m. ceremony (5 a.m. in Philadelphia). The torch was to wind its way through streets that often are crowded and hazy with smog, but have been rendered litter-free. Armies of jump suit-clad workers have been sweeping gutters, some using tweezers to remove the tiniest, most obstinate bits of debris. As the torch completed the final leg of its journey - accompanied by the ever-present national police and an anti-government demonstration in which at least 33 officers and 15 students were reported hurt - athletes and officials from 21 nations were scheduled to maneuver through the stringent security at Kimpo International Airport today and take their places in the Olympic Village.
September 28, 1988 |
Rich Schutz's distant dream of winning an Olympic medal in weightlifting took a tragic turn on his second day in Seoul. He learned that his mother had died of leukemia. He caught the first flight home and attended her funeral. For a lesser competitor, the Olympic quest might have ended. Schutz refused to let that happen, and yesterday he was back in Seoul under the bright lights, competing and trying to keep the sadness and loss out of his mind. "It's been a real roller coaster ride," said the quiet, 23-year-old health club instructor.
September 17, 1988 |
Seoul is a warm place filled with warm-hearted people, unlike those in Inchon who made it warm for the Olympic torch runners by hurling Molotov cocktails in their path. "They can't do enough for you," U.S. women's basketball coach Kay Yow said of the Seoul residents. And not just in the Olympic Village. On the subway, people give up their seats for foreigners. In the back streets, where tourists seldom venture unless they are lost, they come up to you and offer to help you find your way. They don't just point the way, either.
September 16, 1986 |
Three top South Korean officials yesterday accused North Korea of causing Sunday's "barbarous" airport explosion, an accusation that North Korea denied today. Five South Koreans were killed and more than 30 injured when the bomb exploded Sunday in a trash can outside a terminal at Kimpo International Airport. The terminal was packed with foreign athletes arriving for the 10th Asian Games, a major track-and-field event that opens here this week. "There is no doubt that the bombing was a barbarous anti-national act of either North Korean agents or subversive leftists instigated by them," said a government statement signed by the ministers of defense, justice and home affairs.
October 11, 1996 |
We're getting a mixed message from the latest leg of Michael Jackson's "HIStory" tour, in which the performer plans a concert tonight in Seoul, South Korea. The usual hundreds of fans are staking out the singer's hotel, shrieking "We love you, Michael," from the street. But thousands of Seoul residents are protesting the singer's presence, mostly by hammering the United States Embassy with angry phone calls, leters and faxes. (Callers were told the State Department had nothing to do with the HIStory tour, thanks very much.
June 12, 1987
Like Nero, South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan was fiddling when his capital, Seoul, began to burn. Mr. Chun was celebrating the choice of his hand-picked successor, Roh Tae Woo, at a gala reception when the most violent demonstrations in years broke out across downtown Seoul. The demonstrators, mainly students, were protesting the anointing of Mr. Roh, as well as the torture death of a student by police last January. Mr. Roh has become a symbol of Korean democracy stillborn. The authoritarian Mr. Chun, who seized power violently in a military coup in 1980, has pledged to step down voluntarily next February after seven years in power.
August 24, 1988 |
An actress dressed as a high priestess of ancient Greece yesterday lit the Olympic flame that is scheduled to travel 6,950 miles to Seoul, South Korea, for the Summer Games. Katerina Didaskalou, dressed in a white robe, solemnly knelt on one knee as she held a torch to a concave mirror that focused the sun's rays and ignited the flame. The flame-lighting ceremony, attended by about 15,000 people, was held at the sanctuary of the god Zeus at the site of ancient Olympia, some 112 miles southwest of Athens.
April 17, 1988 |
With a mix of pride, hope and anxiety, Evelyn Lewis probably will go to the Olympics this year, once more to cheer for her son and daughter. There remains the matter of qualifying competition, of course, but barring the unexpected, the mother of Carl and Carol Lewis firmly expects to relive the emotional ordeal she knew in the Los Angeles Games of 1984. Carl's 1984 victories - in the 100 and 200 meters, the long jump and the 400-meter relay - made him the Summer Olympics' first quadruple gold medalist since Jesse Owens in 1936.
December 14, 2003 |
I arrived in Seoul, South Korea, at the end of August 2002. I landed a job teaching English to children in one of Seoul's many language schools. This was my first time away from home. The city proved to be everything the tourist guidebooks said it would be: a very modern town that blends Korean culture and tradition with today's technology. Although it was awkward at first, I soon became used to Seoul's busy atmosphere. Soon after my arrival, the headlines from back home exploded with worries over North Korea's production of nuclear weapons.