Olympics and an Exert

by alexlucascion

Sorry for not posting for a while, I’ve been distracted writing other things. I’ll put a short excerpt of one of those other things on here, just to prove I’m still alive and literate.


Korea has Olympic fever. More specifically, Korea has Kim Yu-Na fever. For whoever doesn’t know, Kim Yu-Na is a figure skater, and if a figure-skating world ranking system exists—it probably does, I’d imagine—she is right at the top. And she is an absolute goddess here in Korea. If you talk to a random sample of Korean children, which I more or less do for a living, most of them will tell you that Kim Yu-Na is the person they admire most in the world.


Soon, in just a few short days, Kim will skate for the gold medal, and the whole peninsula will be watching. Mothers will hush their children, brothers will put a steadying arm on their sisters and exchange glances of nervous anticipation. Soju will be sipped—ew! I still think soju is gross—volumes will be turned up, and then, after midnight local time, Kim will take to the ice. She will start out slowly, but the superiority of her form will be immediately apparent. The other skaters, while world class in their own right, cannot hope to match her for grace and power. She has the unique skill of making each twist and turn of her program look easy and incredibly difficult at the same time—easy, because she does not seem to be exerting any effort, and difficult, because who but Kim Yu-Na could hope to make such art on the ice?


She will finish her routine, flawless as always, tens of thousands of hours of practice, culminating in a single moment. She will sit just off the ice while awaiting her score, stoic and unreadable, her fate cruelly left in the hands of subjective, possibly biased and xenophobic judges. She holds her breath, and so too does Korea. Her archrival, Mao Asada of Japan—have I mentioned how much Koreans dislike the Japanese? Because I cannot stress enough how much Koreans dislike the Japanese—has already turned in a nearly perfect routine. It will be close


She might win.


If she does, she will unite a whole country in fit of Olympic ecstasy. People will rush out onto the streets in celebration, normally reserved businessmen and housewives shouting, chanting and embracing, drunk on victory (and also soju, which is still gross). She will show the world that Korea is not a country to be ignored, but to respect and fear. She will pay back Japan (and China, because why not?) for a thousand years of one-sided warfare. She will prove the superiority of the Han race, igniting a re-purification of Korean bloodlines!


Or, she’ll choke


And now, an out of context paragraph from some other writing I’m doing


Evie spent the rest of the ride staring out the window at the limited sights of semi-urban Tuscon. It was an ugly place, inorganic, and trying both too hard and not hard enough to be something other than an aggressively irrigated hub on the way to someplace more promising. Had she been there under different circumstances, she might have found it admirable, or Romantic even, a city where no city should be, maintained by engineering and determination. But she was there for the trial of her father’s killer, so she hated every inch of manicured, green grass that refused to yield to the desert heat and just fucking wilt already.

It was surprisingly dark for a place that spent so much energy keeping itself hydrated. A place like that seemed to call out for artificial light, just to go with the artificial everything else. Evie was unaware that in the early 70s Tucson had enacted a dark sky ordinance, establishing maximum nocturnal illumination levels in order to limit the light pollution that was starting to interfere with a few local observatories. She would have found it fitting though, to learn that the dark was, in its own way, artificial as well, having been legislated into existence against the protests of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce (of which her father, due to a convenient tax loop hole intended to attract out of state business, had recently become an adjunct, non-voting member).