Monday, February 13, 2006

The Hines Ward Lovefeast is on here in Korea.

for those who do not know anyhting about it. Hines Ward is 1/2 Korean and the media here, only SBS Sports shows any American football games here and MBC ESPN, only shows the Super Bowl, have been falling all over themselves to show what a great Korean he is. Now he has not lived here since he was one years old but that does not matter, nor the fact that he is mixed and if he stayed here, a few of the coments have said that he could not even get a job being a janitor. I do just love the logic here.

These are some of the many articles, please read the part about his mom hating on Koreans, very intresting. No word on his father.

Korea-Born Player Named Super Bowl Hero

After his team dealt a decisive defeat to the Seattle Seahawks with 21-10 at the fortieth Super Bowl in Detroit on Sunday, MVP Hines Ward from the Pittsburgh Steelers kisses the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The U.S. National Football League has named the half-Korean wide-receiver Hines Ward Super Bowl XL MVP.

In the 40th year of the U.S. most-loved sporting event, Ward was good for five catches and 123 yards including the final TD leading his team to a 21-10 victory -- a feat that made him well deserving of the MVP designation. Ward put on a strong rushing performance too, pushing back the Seahawks by 18 yards in his sole attempt. Riding the athlete’s wave of activity on the field, the Steelers were able to muster enough hustle to once again rise to the zenith of the sport, after 26 years of naught. This Super Bowl win puts the Steelers in a class of titans as their name is added to the sparse list of five-ring teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.

Fighting against a stonewall of defense dished up by the Seahawks, it wasn't until the second quarter, when Ward pulled an 18-yard run on an end-around, that the real onslaught began. At the second attempt at a third down, the real tide-turner, Ward hustled to realize a reception from Ben Roethlisberger which played no small part in the quarterback’s later dive left for a reaching touchdown which put the Steelers ahead at 7-3.

With the Steelers clinging to a 7-3 lead at the half, Willie Parker took home a 75-yard rushing touchdown (the longest run from scrimmage and the longest rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history) which enabled Ward five minutes and 56 seconds into the fourth to deliver the death blow to the Seahawks with one last end-zone visit. As soon as the offense rushed, Ward, who dashed forward to the center, suddenly headed right and picked up a high pass from Antwaan Randle El and rushed into the end zone, widening the score difference to 21-10. The 43-yard touchdown was the longest pass catch among two team’s wide receivers of game. Having been deprived of the ball at the decisive moment, the Seattle Seahawks failed to turn their dreams of bringing home rings for the franchise into reality.

Hines Ward was born in 1976 to his Korean mother Kim Young-hee and his African-American father Hines Ward Sr., who was in Korea with U.S. forces. The following year, he went to the U.S. and has been living with his mother since age seven. Ward left quite an impression during his early days at Forest Park High School and later at the University of Georgia, where he was a stand-out athlete in all offense positions, quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

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Hines Ward wishes to set up scholarship in his mother's name

ATLANTA, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- Korean-American Super Bowl hero Hines Ward said Friday that he hopes to create a scholarship named after his mother, Kim Young-hee, to help ethnic Korean students in the United States.

Ward said it is a blessing for him to be half Korean, and he wishes to meet with Korean government officials and youth during his upcoming trip to South Korea in April.

Hines Ward
"I will be setting up a scholarship in my mother's name because she deserves it," Ward told Yonhap News Agency in an interview in front of his home in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday morning.

Ward, born to a Korean mother and African-American father, was
voted Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XL after his team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, beat the Seattle Seahawks 20-10.

Ward plans to found a scholarship to "give back to the Korean community." He said he harbors "no hard feelings" about the way Koreans treated his mother for marrying outside her ethnicity, he said. Yet, considering what she had gone through, he said, it feels great to see the community cheer around her.

Ward said he owes his success to the work ethics he learned from his industrious mother, who still insists on working at a high school cafeteria. He recalls his mother never missed a day's work no matter how sick she was.

Calling his mother a "tough person," he said, "When she gets knocked down, she gets right up. Despite all the adversities she faced, she persevered and just kept fighting hard."
Inheriting his mother's unyielding spirit, Ward never gave up, even when he was told he was "too small to play in the NFL" because his mother told him, "If you want something, you just work hard until you get it." NFL stands for the National Football League.

As a child, it hurt Ward to see his mother frustrated and crying because she was not able to help him with schoolwork. Instead, she worked three jobs to support him. Seeing his mother sacrifice herself for him, he thought, "The only way for me to pay her back and to honor her is to study hard."
It's not just work ethics that he learned from his mother. Ward was taught to always be humble and treat people the way he wanted to be treated.

Even today, his mother tells America's Super Bowl MVP, "I don't care how much money you have. Never treat people like you're better than others."
Now, Ward wishes to pass down the values he learned from his mother to his son. "I hope my son will grow up honoring his heritage," he said. "I want him to be proud to be partly Korean," he added.

His son was dressed in Korean traditional clothes on his first birthday, and following Korean tradition, picked a ring from an array of items such as money and a pencil, which is said to determine a child's future career.

Ward, who has a few Korean language books himself, regrets that he did not have a chance to learn the language when he was younger and living apart from his mother.

"I wish I could turn back time and learn Korean so that I can converse with my mother better," he said. Ward pledges to teach the Korean language to his son.

Lastly, Super Bowl MVP Ward had advice for Korean students: "If you put your heart, mind and soul into it, you can achieve anything."

Hines Ward Brings Mixed-Race Koreans Into Limelight

Koreans of mixed ethnicity are hoping that the newfound celebrity status of the half-Korean football star Hines Ward will help dispel the prejudice they frequently encounter here.

Johnnie Westover is one of them. Active in a group of mixed-race Koreans, he told a meeting Friday he has never seen a half-Korean become a general in the army, or for that matter reach any position of authority in Korea, and asked if anyone else had. “In an era of globalization, where everything is becoming mixed together, Koreans know how to change the color of their hair to red, green or yellow, but it seems they still don’t know how to change the thoughts inside their heads,” he said.

After three years of effort, Kim (Westover's Korean name) was able to find the serial number of his father Benjamin Westover and was reunited with him in the U.S. Five years on, he still celebrates the Fourth of July with his father and four younger half-sisters.

He implies there is a willful blindness at work. “Although discrimination against Koreans raised in Japan is now being discussed, the treatment of half-Koreans in Korea is not even being considered,” he says. He suggests following the U.S. example and making it illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of race. Like Hines Ward, he credits his mother with making sacrifices that enabled him to get on in life.

Westover says that sacrifice was the soil from which a champion like Hines could grow. Among the Korean virtues that Westerners lack, he points to the quality called "jeong”, a hard-to-translate word meaning something like caring, which functions as a sort of social glue.

Another member of the group said since mixed Koreans are often of stronger build, Korea could have secured some outstanding athletes if it had been more hospitable to them.

Hines Ward’s Mother Recalls Hard Road to Success

When Hines Ward was given one of the highest accolades in American football, the trials his Korean mother faced over the years and the bitterness she felt seemed to melt away in an instant. But when Ward was named Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl after his team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, laid waste to the Seattle Seahawks, Kim Young-hee (59) was calm and collected. "Supporting a child so he can do what he wants to do and encouraging him the whole way seems like the secret to success,” Kim told the Chosun Ilbo from her home in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

How do you feel about the MVP title?

"I admire him and I'm proud of him. Since his junior year at Forest Park High School, he got a lot of press and picked up more than just a few accolades. I watched the game on TV, but then I dozed off until I got a call from my son at about 1 in the morning. 'Mom, we won the Super Bowl!' he said, so of course I said, 'Congratulations.' I was a little groggy from some cold medicine that I had taken, so we just talked briefly and left it at that. I really hate crowded places, so I don't usually go to the stadium; instead I watch the games on TV.”

Ward has credited you with his success…

"Well, maybe that's what he thinks. From the time Hines was in elementary school I had to leave the house at 4 in the morning to go to work. I washed dishes and cleaned up in companies that produced airline food, at restaurants, and at hotels, I also worked as a cashier at the grocery store. I made about US$4 an hour. It was always a 'two jobs' life, one full-time and one part-time. Sometimes I would add in one more part-time job, working up to three jobs per day. For me there was no Saturday, no Sunday, and no days off. But since Hines turned pro in '98, I've cut down to just one job."

Eight months after he was picked up by a pro team, Ward bought a large house for his mother in the city of Smyrna, but she said it was too big for one person alone, so she moved to a smaller house in Henry County where she has been living ever since. Although her son is now making millions a year, she still works in the cafeteria of a local high school.

What does Hines think about the Korean blood that runs though his veins?

"Since he was young, he always got along well with the other Korean and Vietnamese kids. It seems like he does have some pride in his Korean blood. But we've also been hurt as Koreans. When Hines was in high school, there was an inter-school friendship match for the Korean students. Since he was good at baseball, a school invited him to play. But after the game, when the kids went out to eat, the person who put together the event only took the Korean kids, leaving Hines behind (Ward is of mixed parentage, his father an African-American). After that I told Hines to never hang out with Korean kids. Yet when we went to Korea in '98, even Korean people who looked educated spat when we walked by. Koreans judge others based on their appearance and their age. Those kinds of Koreans think that they are so special…"

Any plans for a Korea visit?

"My son asked me to go this April, so I said yes, but I’m not sure whether I'll really go with him or not. I have been back to Korea a few times, but my mother died in 1998, and I have no brothers and sisters there. But sometimes I do feel like I'd like to go back to Korea to live. Korea is very crowed, but that really makes it feel alive. Although I have been living in America for almost 30 years, it's not really that exciting here."


Korean envoy invites mother of Super Bowl MVP

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean Embassy on Thursday invited the mother of Super Bowl superstar Hines Ward to Washington.

Amb. Lee Tae-sik sent a letter to Kim Young-hee congratulating her and her son and asking to meet with her personally.

Heartwarming or cautionary, Ward's story resonates here

February 11, 2006 ㅡ

▶ Hines Ward in Atlanta after an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday. By Nam Jeong-ho
Hines Ward, 29, a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Super Bowl XL most valuable player, has become more than just a hero here in Korea. His rags-to-riches story, and that of his ethnic Korean mother, has taken on a life of its own in this country thousands of mile away, and one which he has not yet seen.
It's hard to tell yet whether the adulation will be just a flash in the pan or a more enduring national love affair. Observers watching the media frenzy here have had mixed reactions, some saying that it reflects Koreans' desire to identify themselves with an internationally known figure ― of which Korea has few ― and that interest will die down soon. Others, however, say that Mr. Ward's story is one that strikes a chord deep in the Korean psyche and is simply too compelling to be just a passing fancy.
Immediately after Mr. Ward's gridiron achievement, you would have had to look hard to find a media outlet in Korea that did not run the story prominently. The nation's largest broadcasters have run special documentaries on Mr. Ward, and lots of trees have been felled to print the newspaper accounts of his life story. Seoul Broadcasting System is even airing selected games in Mr. Ward's career, in a country where "football" means soccer.
But it's not only a media-driven phenomenon. South Korean companies hoping to capitalize on Mr. Ward's sudden iconic status have begun to make their bids as well. The nation's air carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, are competing to woo Mr. Ward and his mother into one of their first-class cabins to bring them to Korea for a visit early this year, as Mr. Ward said he wanted to do. The Korean Cultural Service Office at the consulate-general in New York has asked Seoul to recognize his achievement in some way. The office argues that knowingly or unknowingly, Mr. Ward has contributed greatly to promoting the country's image.
Mr. Ward's story has been retold here countless times in the past week. The son of a Korean mother, Kim Young-hee, and a black American G.I. stationed here at the time, his parents were divorced soon after returning to the United States. His mother, speaking almost no English and without job skills, stayed on there after a U.S. court awarded custody of the boy to his father. Mr. Ward ran away from home as a second-grader to return to his mother, who worked double- and triple-shifts in menial jobs to care for and educate him. Mr. Ward reciprocates that devotion, which shines through his demeanor in his press appearances when he speaks of her. A mother's devotion, coupled with Mr. Ward's own Cinderella story, are the main press themes here.
"This is a human story. People are just enjoying this as it is. It tells us about things in life that are valuable," said Ju Cheol-hwan, a professor of media at Ewha Womans University.
Some observers suggested that Koreans have an economy that is 11th in the world but few internationally known figures to identify with. That longing may have triggered the upwelling of national pride and interest. "This is a sort of collectivism," said Chun Byeong-jun of Chung-Ang University. "If the country had many internationally acknowledged people, the interest would be divided. As it is, the attention gets focused," He cited the example of Park Ji-sung, one of only two Koreans who play the other kind of football in the English Premier League. "That is why people watch Park's games here late at night. Foreigners will probably not think that he represents Korea, although people here do. For outsiders, he's just an Asian player."
The rest of the handful of Korean sports stars playing professionally abroad get a taste of the same treatment. Ethnic Koreans, whether second-generation or emigres, also get a share of attention. Michelle Wie, a pro golfer from Hawaii, is a good example, although it must be said that her youthful beauty appeals to a wider audience than Koreans, whether or not they know a five-iron from a pitching wedge.
Mr. Chun also noted the timing of the new love affair, coming soon after one of Korea's superstars, the geneticist and cloning researcher Hwang Woo-suk, was shamed by revelations that his most prominent accomplishments were fraudulent. "Koreans identified with his success," Mr. Chun said, before his fall.
Koreans have a phrase for it: nembi geonseong, a hot pot that cools off quickly. Whether that applies in this case is not yet clear.
Professor Ju Chang-yun of Seoul Women's University was a bit skeptical about the warm embrace here. He thinks the media here may have had a selective focus, tailoring and magnifying their accounts to produce something they know the public wants. "He's an American citizen," Mr. Ju said. "There are other mothers who have brought up African-American professional athletes who had a difficult youth. But this has all the elements of a success story, so a hero is born. The question is whether we are doing more than just accepting the facts."
Don't tell Mr. or Mrs. Kim that. The mania here is already in motion, and this society that prides itself on being homogenous and tightly knit may be learning something valuable, or interesting, or shocking from Mr. Ward's story. This is still a country where not very long ago television spots urged Koreans to be indifferent to South Koreans of mixed blood.
Lee Jee-young works at the Pearl S. Buck International office here. The organization champions children who are discriminated against because of their race. She is quick to say that despite Mr. Ward's success, life for mixed-blood Koreans will continue to be difficult. "I have experienced this sort of thing several times, although this is the most extensive," she said. Referring to the avalanche of interviews that she had given in the past week to Korean media about the country's treatment of biracial children, she added, "The fact is placing mixed children for adoption here is almost impossible, and it won't get better."
Hundreds of Koreans have signed up at Internet fan sites, and millions read the media accounts. But Ms. Lee is not the only person to wonder if the country that is now embracing him has the moral authority to do so.
"Korean society needs to reflect on itself," said one Internet user who called himself Kim Min-gyo, posting in a discussion board on the Daum portal site devoted to Mr. Ward, "If Mr. Ward had grown up here, how would he have grown up? What sort of job would he have ended up with?"
But the media will probably continue to give Koreans what they want for as long as they want it. Sometimes, though, the attempts at identification are as amusing as they are overreaching. On Thursday, the tabloid Sports Seoul carried an article about the Lingerie Bowl, a pre-Super Bowl tie-in that features a football game between teams of scantily-clad female models. The focus ― no surprise ― was on the player whose mother is Korean and father American. Move over, Michelle Wie, you've got some competition.

by Brian Lee

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