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Swimmer Park Tae-hwan awash in congratulations

As we know, Koreans sure have a fierce sense of cultural pride (sometimes to uncomfortably myopic degrees). So it’s no big surprise that all are elated with Olympic gold medalist Park Tae-hwan‘s win in the 400m freestyle on August 10. In about the half-day since he’s won the medal, his cyworld mini-homepage has amassed over 80,000 congratulatory messages.

Actually, currently there are 82,204 82,357 82,505 messages (that’s how fast the numbers climbed in the time it took me to write this post), although only the last 75,000 or so have come post-win. It’s kind of cute, actually, there are some messages reading, “I’m watching you on TV now,” and then, just a few messages later, “Just… a little… farther…” to be followed with, “Congrats on the gold medal!”

Of particular note are congratulatory messages left by members of girl groups Wonder Girls, Girls Generation (SoShi), and even figure skater Kim Yuna.

Kim Yuna’s message read:

“오빠 대박 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 추카해!!”
“Oppa, jackpot! Kekekeke Congratulations!!”

His site’s background music was the boy band 2AM song “아니라기에” (“To say it’s not”), to which 2AM’s Im Seul-woong wrote:

“(배경음악 선택에) 너무나 감사하고 올림픽 금메달을 석권한 박태환 선수처럼, 저희도 열심히 해서 가요계의 금메달을 따겠다”
“Thanks so much for choosing our song. Like you’ve won the gold medal at the Olympics, we’ll work hard and do our best to win the gold medal in the music industry.” (Whatever THAT means!)

Another 2AM-er, leader Jo Kwon-do, wrote:

“금메달 소식에 홈페이지에 와 봤는데 ‘아니라기에’가 흘러나와 깜짝 놀랐다. 금메달 따길 2AM모두 기도했는데 너무 축하 드린다”
“I came to the site after hearing the news that you’d won the gold medal, but I was startled to hear ‘To Say It’s Not’ playing. Everyone in 2AM had prayed you’d win the gold. Congratulations.”

Park Tae-hwan sure wasn’t shy about his gold-medal hopes; his cyworld address is http://www.cyworld.com/freestylewin.

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wow really cool!
i saw him swimming!
really amazing!
so proud and happy!!!
Go Korea! Goooo!!!!!

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Ahahah~ Koreans sure are cute! It's amazing that everyone has a Cyworld there @[email protected]~
I've seen Tae Hwan too and was really happy for Korea! And lol it was so funny when he kept pulling the Chinese swimmer to pose for the pictures but Zhang Lin didn't really seem too happy with his silver...

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Funny how the sports and kpop world mixed like that :D

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wow seems like park tae hwan's absolutely famous in korea right now...ahha and it's cute how he gets a lot of comments even before he finished the race =P

but speaking of SNSD...i was so surprised when they used the girl group's song during the women's synchronized 3m diving competition...

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Yes, he won the gold, but what about the women's gold team victory by the women's archery team?

That was awesome and continues Korea's dominance in the sport. Woohoo!!!

Don't know about the men though. No news, so I suppose they didn't fare so well.

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Eheh. my mom was tracking Park all night on Korea Yahoo....she was happier when he was swimming than she ever was when I was swimming..eheh albeit I never went to the Olympics ^_^! I was kind of worried when Park said he "already" beat Hackett's best time during practice - sometimes Koreans can be a little overconfident :P plus Park is pretty young and inexperienced in terms of Olympic competition....but he delivered the gold! I was really glad to see he was able to back his words --!! I'm really happy b/c he's young too - he's got room for at least 2 more Olympics! He's not expecting much for his other 2 events he said, but I REALLY hope he'll surprise us all with another medal or two :D!

I'm also really excited to see if Phelps will bring the world record of the most gold medals in one game. ahahah....Now HE is an swimming legend - he got a gold yesterday and plans to scoop up 7 more golds. The fact that he qualified for so many freakin events just blows my mind too O_o....its incredible how he;s good at EVERY stroke...

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as much as I got a soft spot for S.K........USA! USA! USA!

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"plus Park is pretty young and inexperienced in terms of Olympic competition…."

Actually, not so much. Park Tae-hwan was in the last Olympics, and he got disqualified for falling or jumping into the pool before the gun went off. He never got to swim. It was a deeply humiliating experience, and he was really green then. So you can imagine the kind of determination, patience, and confidence it took for him to come back 4 years later.

But never mind that, apparently Tae-hwan is dating Sun Ye from Wondergirls?

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The dating thing is a rumor. An oft-repeated, but unconfirmed, rumor.

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i'm with rocketfuel...go USA! but it was cool watching park win the gold. he's not entirely a newbie to the olympics b/c yeah, he got disqualified in athens for a false start but sf is right...he's so young that he can still do as least another 2 more olympics.

on another note about the beijing olympics..what did everyone think about the opening ceremonies? man, the chinese can put on a show! that scroll was so cool!

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i already known that he will win this event...Coz he is confident the he will win it!!!^lol^ A lot of koreans came and support him as well.HE swam like a champion :)
Anyways i can't wait to see him swim the final for 100 freestyle with Micheal Phelps...

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Well good for him!! What kills me is that 2AM managed to turn congratulatory comments into (2 very blatant bids of) self promotion. Yes we know you've got an album.

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@belleza
That's what I meant (in a very convoluted way ^^;;). Since he never got to actually race AND has had a bad experience with being DQed already (I heard he just fell in), I was worried about how that would effect his confidence level. Hackett, who was seeded the fastest (or at least faster than Park), on the other hand, has already successfully gone to the Olympics twice and has got several medals under his belt. Compared to Park, yes, Hackett IS more experienced, period. Just like you said, Park was "green" the year he DQed. Experience obviously makes a difference - and that experience made Park into the swimmer he is now. It's not an insult to Park, who's just 18....but he was and IS young and inexperienced in comparison to most Olympians. The fact he overcame his age is why his win is more exciting and commendable.

The point was - that despite being DQed - Park astoundingly managed to improve enough in 4 years to be publicly confident about his winning power - and most importantly, PROVE it. I never said a thing about him not having "determination, patience, and confidence."

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I was watching the swimming yest and was absolutely elated that Park won. Though I don't know anything about him, but just being a South Korean is enough to have my support! :) Tmr we've got more Park coming up, but with Phelps too, Park will have to fight harder...
I'm sure 2AM is really thankful for him now cos of the free promotion..... at least 100000 people have listened to their song on his cyworld..... (I am listening to that song now too.. it's pretty good... )
Thanks for sharing this news.... :)

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"but with Phelps too, Park will have to fight harder…"

Yeaaah I don't give Park or anybody else much hope to beat Phelps in that one. He absolutely destroyed everybody in this competition last year. But the swimming prodigy (trujly among the most versatile in the world) Tae Hwan is going to be one of the favorites to medal, as he did finish bronze in the World Championships.

Yup, dude's coming back as a national hero. Soon to come to a movie next year. ;)

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"but with Phelps too, Park will have to fight harder…"

Yeaaah I don't give Park or anybody else much hope to beat Phelps in that one. Phelps absolutely destroyed everybody in this competition last year, and he'll likely set a new WR. But Tae Hwan is a true swimming prodigy (to be able to compete at 200m AND 1500M is astounding), and he is going to be one of the favorites to medal, as he did finish bronze in the World Championships. That would be two medals that South Korea has never had in swimming. Two by the same person.

Yup, dude's coming back as a national hero. Soon to be a mega-selling movie next year. ;)

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I was watching the 400m freestyle on the computer and almost fell out of my seat when Park Tae Hwan won.
I was so happy :]

And I have faith that he will beat Michael Phelps, although that guy is a beast in water, lols.

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Congratulations to Park Tae Hwan for winning the silver medal on the 200M free.

And Michael Phelps . . . .YA BABY YEAH!!! MOST DOMINANT EVER!!!!

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*high 5s belleza* :)

Yup, Phelps the swim machine is on course to a record 8 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALS (the bigger question is, how many WRs will he smash along the way?) !!! Wooott!!!

Also congrats to Park Tae Hwan and Kosuke Kitajima for their wins! Hurray for the asians for denying the total dominance of the Aussies and Americans in the pool! :) Not forgetting the Chinese (glad they didn't choke this time around) and Japanese men gymnastic teams for their Team Gold and Silver medals respectively. Asian sportsmen are catching up with their women, lol!

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yeah baby my bro park tae-hwan

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HI TAE HWAN OPPA CONGRATS I KNOW IT'S LATE TO SAY THAT AND HOPE U HAVE A NICE HEALTHY NEW YEAR. LOVE , LEE SAERA

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I need to dl this and watch what I missed, and hope my nieces will feel inspired after being hypnotized by the tube.

I've been preoccupied enjoying too much of Korea's "Dancing With the Stars." Wow, H.O.T. represent!

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Oh, and...

CONGRATS DUDE!

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