feat. a Korean-Canadian: Team Canada or Team Korea?

feat. a Korean-Canadian is a blog series highlighting Korean-Canadians and their experiences, perspectives and thoughts on their identity as Korean-Canadians.

FIFA World Cup 2018 has started in Russia and today South Korea will play against Sweden for their first game of the group matches. To celebrate the World Cup, I thought it would be fun to get the perspectives of Korean-Canadians on who they cheer for during world sporting events – Team Canada or Team Korea. Here are their responses:

During the last winter Olympics, I cheered for Team Canada. But I’d probably cheer for whatever team Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were on. – Andrea Bang

Both! Sport is about competing and that can create animosity between teams, but I really think it should be a platform for respecting greatness, hard work, and determination – lessons that everyone can learn from. – Christine Park

Why not both? Korea and Canada don’t really overlap in sports that they excel. For example, in case of football (soccer), the South Korean team will continue breaking my heart every four years for the rest of my life, but for hockey, definitely Team Canada. – Dongwoo Kim

When it comes to ice hockey, my allegiance is to Canada. I’m someone who gets depressed for days if Team Canada doesn’t win gold in any international hockey tournaments. I sometimes daydream about their dream teams, scribbling down the potential lineup of the very best Canadian NHL players on a Starbucks napkin while sipping on a tall latte. When it comes to World Cup soccer, however, I’m Dae Han Min Guk all the way … da-dah dah-dah da. – Glen Choi

Team Korea and Canada rarely compete with each other, which makes it easy for me to cheer for both. – Grace Lee

I cheer for both teams! However, if Team Korea and Team Canada were matched up, I would cheer for Team Korea.  I’m very interested to see which team my son will cheer for when he’s older.  – Grace Sohn

I cheer for Team Korea. I don’t know why but Korean players are close to my heart. Maybe it’s because my aunt used to be an athlete training in the national training centre in South Korea. I heard stories about how much the athletes have to endure. I feel like I can almost see how hard they’ve trained. – Jae Lee

I always cheer for Team Korea and I’m kind of glad they don’t play against each other too often. I always feel more connected to my Korean roots than my Canadian roots despite of me being a Canadian citizen. But when it’s Canada playing against another country, I cheer for Canada! – Julia Park

I actually talked about this with my husband during the Pyeongchang Olympics. And we both said we would cheer for Korea, Canada, and Germany at the same time (my husband is German). However, when the Korean and the Canadian women curling teams played against each other, I didn’t know which team to cheer for.  – Sulki Kwon

As for me, when I was younger I did not care too much about watching sports. But as I started to watch speed skating and soccer, I realized that there is a strong emotion that ties me to Team Korea. I can’t help but get emotional to see the Korean flag being raised on podiums. So during this World Cup, I will proudly wear my Red Devil jersey and cheer on the Korean team. Dae Han Min Guk – clap clap clap clap clap!

team korea

Click here for a full World Cup schedule on CBC. For the group matches, South Korea is playing Sweden today at 8 am EST, Mexico on June 23 at 11 am EST, and Germany on June 27 at 10 am EST. And please leave a comment on which team you cheer for, as well as a message to cheer on the South Korean team!

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