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A Korean horse-story

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By Kim Ji-myung

"Do you ride horses?" I asked the man next to me, to break the ice. A group of Olympic leaders were on a tour of European cities to promote the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, about a year before the games, and an after-dinner performance of dressage was just about to start for the guests of honor from Korea.

The performer sitting on horseback just then was the daughter of the host, a German businessman, and the Olympic-standard riding ground could be viewed through a glass wall from the audience seats inside the dining hall. The young woman was a dressage athlete hoping to compete in the coming Seoul Olympics.

"Well, yes, sort of …" was his answer. At that moment, I realized that I had absolutely no knowledge of riding, raising or breeding horses; and so I could not think of a following question.

Someone nearby then told me he was Dr. Reiner Klimke, the famous and legendary winner of six gold medals at the Olympics. If anyone does not recognize a person, "he must be a spy from the north" in a........

© The Korea Times