Asian athletes dominate XXI Winter Olympic Games By Sandsha Nicholas Andreyev
The XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver are the pinnacle of physical competition and give countries the chance to shine in winter sports. This year, many Asian countries showed their dominance in events such as short track speed racing and figure skating. However, the true story of the 2010 Winter Olympics lies in the achievements of the different Asian athletes and even athletes from mixed heritage like Team USA’s Apolo Ohno. In ladies’ figure skating, Yu-Na Kim from South Korea won gold and Mao Asada from Japan won silver. In men’s figure skating, Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won bronze. In pairs’ figure skating, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao won gold and Qing Pang and Jiang Tong won silver. Both pairs were skating for Team China. South Korea dominated this year’s men’s short track speed racing with Jung-Su Lee winning the gold medal in the men’s 1,500m short track. Jung-Su Lee and Ho-Suk Lee, also for South Korea, won gold and silver respectively in the men’s 1,000m race. Apolo Ohno won silver in the men’s 1,500m race and bronze in the 1,000m race. South Korean skater, Si-Bak Sung won silver in the men’s 500m race. Even though South Korea had very strong individual skaters, they did not win the men’s 5,000m relay. Team South Korea earned a silver medal in the event. In women’s short track, China has proven to be the dominate power. Meng Wang won gold in the women’s 500m and 1,000m races, while Yang Zhou won gold in the women’s 1,500m with Eun-Byul Lee and Seung-Hi Park, both from South Korea, winning silver and bronze respectively. Seung-Hi Park also won bronze in the women’s 1,000m. China also won the gold in the women’s
3,000m relay race. The Chinese victory in the women’s relay race was unexpected as the referees disqualified the four-time defending champion South Korean team for interference. The South Korean team originally came in first, but was eventually disqualified as a South Korean racer’s skate tapped the skate of a Chinese racer. This was China’s first gold medal in the women’s relay race. Asian athletes have become the competitors to beat in many fields of expertise. Two Asian countries were in the top ten of this year’s Olympic Medal count with South Korea, with 14 medals, and China, with 11 medals, coming in seventh and eighth place respectively. While Asian athletes have improved their ex-
pertise there are also athletes that play for other countries and have Asian roots. The most notable example of this would be Apolo Ohno, the most decorated American Winter Olympics athlete of all time. Ohno’s father, Yuki Ohno, is Japanese-born. Apolo Ohno won a gold medal for 1,500m and a silver medal in 1,000m speed racing in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, in the 2006 Olympics, he won a gold medal in 500m and two bronze medals in the 1,000m and 5,000m team relay. Including the silver medal in the 1,500m and the bronze in the 1,000mrace from this year’s Olympics, Ohno has won seven medals in total, thus earning him the title of most decorated American Winter Olympics athlete.
Hideki Matsui wins 2010 World Seriesʼ Most Valuable Player Award By Ji Won Yoon
When the New York Yankees won 7-3 against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game 6 of the World Series, there was no surprise to the minds of all the fans and players as to whom would win the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. With superb playing during each game and a record-setting performance during Game 6, Hideki Matsui became the first Japanese born player as well as the first full-time designated hitter to win the award. Matsui’s baseball career started in May 1993 when he played for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. After playing ten seasons for the Yomiuri Giants, he came to
the United States and started playing for the New York Yankees ever since March 2003. Although Matsui has been part of the Yankees for seven seasons, his first World Series win did not come until the 2009 season. Matsui was a major factor in the Yankee’s win against the Phillies as his performance was the reason the Yankees ultimately won the World Series. Matsui finished the series 8-for13 runs, earning him his .615 batting average. He also broke the previous record of most RBI in a World Series clincher by earning six RBI. In addition, Matsui had a total of three home-runs by the end of the series. His most important home-run can be
said to be against pitcher Pedro Martinez in the second inning, which helped the Yankees gain a 2-0 lead over the Phillies in Game 6. Nothing could go wrong for Matsui as he finished off the game with a monstrous record and the title of World Series Most Valuable Player. Matsui is a role model to every Asian sports competitor as he proves that Asians can succeed in a sport that is dominated by Westerners. He had continued success throughout his seven seasons with the Yankees and contributed greatly to the team’s success. However, Matsui is leaving the Yankees and joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the 2010 season.