Finding my father in Yongpyong
From 1974 to 1993, my dad, Kwahn W. Kim, worked as the chief architect of Yongpyong Ski Resort: one of the host sites of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
When it opened, Yongpyong was the first ski resort in South Korea, marking a turning point in history when everyday Koreans could afford leisure activities — a remarkable feat considering the country was one of the world's poorest following the Korean War.
When my dad retired, our family immigrated to Canada. Although I knew Yongpyong was one of my dad's great accomplishments, he didn't talk about his work much, and I didn’t ask him about it either. We lived the story many first-generation immigrants know too well — with fewer and fewer places to find common ground, we drifted apart in our new home country.
He died in 2005 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
The hardest part of mourning was realizing I had barely known him.
When Pyeongchang was named host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, I went to see the resort I had heard so much about growing up. I wanted to learn more about him by spending time in the place where he had poured his heart and soul.
I hope to capture his spirit, presence and legacy.