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(Olympics) Mogul skier happy to earn last-minute spot through his brother's dream

All Headlines 13:57 February 08, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- Before he got a last-minute Olympic spot, South Korean mogul skier Kim Ji-hyon may have already known that something good was about to happen to him.

Kim was told on Monday -- just four days before the PyeongChang Olympics -- that he will represent South Korea at the games. The 23-year-old didn't originally qualify for the Olympics, and stayed on the reserve list, but after a Swiss skier decided not to come to PyeongChang due to injury, Kim was the lucky one to receive the open spot.

With Kim's addition, South Korea will have five mogul skiers -- three men and two women -- at the PyeongChang Olympics.

"It was really sad when I heard first that I couldn't go to the Olympics at home," Kim said on Wednesday after his training at Phoenix Snow Park, the venue for the freestyle skiing competitions. "But with this kind of situation happening to me, I feel really honored and I'm ready to give my best."

Kim, who started his career as an alpine skier, said his older brother had a good dream that made him hold on to his goal of Olympic participation.

"One day, he just called me and sent me 50,000 won," he said. "I told him that I'm not in a mood for jokes. But he told me in his dream, I was swimming in 'dirty water'."

In South Korean culture, dreaming of feces portends something good or auspicious being about to happen. People sometimes "purchase" good dreams, so that they can enjoy good fortune.

"Maybe that was the sign," he said. "But I really want to believe that this all happened because all people who know me worked hard and supported me."

One of the people was Toby Dawson, the head coach of the South Korean moguls team.

"I really didn't want to train when I noticed that it would be difficult for me to get a spot at the Olympics," he said. "I wanted to take a rest, but Dawson told me not to quit and keep training because you never know what's going to happen in the end."

For his first Olympics, Kim said he will just do his best and show all his talents on the snow.

"I don't perform well when I think about results," he said. "At the last World Cup, my coaches told me not to mind the pressure, but I ended up feeling that pressure and making mistakes."

After all, Kim apparently took the good energy from his brother's dream. So did he actually buy that dream?

"Yes, I wired the money right to my brother's account," Kim said with a smile.

The men's moguls competition starts on Friday with qualification rounds. The finals will be on Monday.

This photo, taken on Feb. 7, 2018, shows South Korean mogul skier Kim Ji-hyon at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 8, 2018. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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