Reporter Column: Behind Every Great Player- Another Great Player
Reporter Column: Behind Every Great Player- Another Great Player
  • Reporter Kim Yu-jin
  • 승인 2023.12.05 20:34
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Reporter Kim Yu-jin
Reporter Kim Yu-jin

  In recent times, Ha-Seong Kim, a Korean player in the Major Leagues, made headlines for being nominated for a Gold Glove Award this year in the utility position. The Gold Glove Award is an award that honors the best defenders at each position in the National League and the American League and is voted by coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). It is not every day that we see Korean players recognized for their abilities, especially in sports that require innate physical talent. Often, these sports are usually dominated by Western players. But when I think about it, I can see that more and more Asian players, specifically Korean players, are playing successfully internationally and are establishing their careers even with their physical disadvantages. It is unfortunate, but true that Asian players lack physical distinction, and that racism is still abundant throughout sports leagues in Western countries. What made this possible?
  In in my opinion, pioneering players who came before the current successful players, and paved the way, were critical. Every great athlete usually has a role model they look up to. If you are a young player dreaming of playing in international leagues and you see someone like you already competing, it gives you motivation and confidence that someday you could do that too. When Asian sports players were scarce in sports leagues outside of Asia, young players attempting to play in international leagues or already playing in international leagues often heard words of discouragement, “Asians are not suitable for sports,” and “Asian players have too many disadvantages to play in international leagues” is what the players kept hearing. This made it tough for them to believe in themselves and reach their full potential.
  However, things are changing. We see more Asian players leaving their mark on the global stage and it is thanks to those who came before – the role models. Take Heung-min Son, a soccer player for the Tottenham Hotspurs. He faced a lot of challenges when he moved from South Korea to Germany for his football career. There were language issues, racism, and financial troubles, but he did not give up. He has become an inspiration for others.
  In women’s volleyball, Yeon-koung Kim’s story is another example. She had a knee injury early in her career, and it was not easy for her to adjust to playing in Turkey. But now, even in her 30s, she is not only known for her skills but also for being friendly and helpful with players from different countries.
  It would not be true to say that these players have arrived and succeeded through only their efforts and their incredible innate physical abilities. Players with great physical abilities often do not make it. What sets these athletes apart is that they do not let negative comments or tough situations limit them. Believing in yourself when everyone around you says that it is impossible is tough. Having a strong sense of purpose and confidence is even harder. But it is possible, and these athletes are living proof, showing us that it can be done. And as they prove themselves on the big stage, it becomes easier for the next generation to follow in their footsteps.
  The rise of Asian players in international sports is not just about being physically good at the game. It is a story of breaking stereotypes, overcoming challenges, and showing that greatness does not depend on where you come from. These athletes are not just making their mark; they are inspiring others to believe that they can do it too, regardless of the obstacles in their way.