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(Olympics) Moguls coach says S. Koreans 'in a good position' for medals

All Headlines 16:24 February 02, 2018

By Joo Kyung-don

HOENGSEONG, South Korea, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea national moguls skiing coach Toby Dawson said Friday his athletes are "in a good position" to win medals at the PyeongChang Olympics.

The Korean-American coach, the bronze medalist in moguls at the 2006 Turin Winter Games, said South Koreans have all improved their performances ahead for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and they're ready to compete. South Korea is sending four mogul skiers -- two men and two women -- to the Winter Games.

"I can't say it for sure, since we have to see what's going to happen on that day," Dawson said at a media day event at a ski resort in Hoengseong County in Gangwon Province. "I think that something could happen. I really believe that we're in a good position. We just have to perform well on the day of the competition."

Dawson said the skiers will be able to overcome their nerves at the Winter Games home. However, as a coach, Dawson himself is feeling nervous.

"We kind of know what's going to happen during the Olympics," he said. "As a manager, I always feel nervous because I think that anything can go wrong ... but I have to trust them and I'm pretty confident that they're going to step up."

South Korea will have Choi Jae-woo and Seo Myung-joon competing in the men's competition, while Seo Jung-hwa and Seo Jee-won will race on the women's side. Dawson said what he emphasizes to his pupils is to focus on the process, not the result.

"The most important key to the athletes is to just stay focused and think about the process," he said. "If you think about the medals and other things, then you can get nervous. Do what you've been training well and let the results happen."

Dawson said his skiers have been practicing to upgrade their degree of difficulty in jump tricks, so that they can be more competitive in the finals.

When asked about the Olympic course at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, Dawson said his skiers have a good understanding of the venue.

"I think PyeongChang course is an amazing course," he said. "Things that we can change are size of the moguls and rhythm of the moguls. Our skiers have been practicing there a lot. They just have to go out there and lay out their best performance.

Dawson, 38, was born in Busan as Kim Soo-chul, but was adopted by a couple from Colorado in 1982 after getting lost at a crowded market. He then won the Olympic bronze medal for the United States and later served as an honorary ambassador for the PyeongChang Olympics bidding committee to help the South Korean alpine town to become the host.

"I think that this has been such an amazing journey for me personally," he said. "Hopefully we have success for the team and the Olympics."

This file photo, taken on Oct. 31, 2017, shows South Korean national moguls team coach Toby Dawson at an event in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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