Sohn Kee-chung is in many ways the Korean Jesse Owens. You hear a lot about how Jesse Owens competed in Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics. Much to Hitler's chagrin, his showcase for superiority of the Aryan form was trumped when black Owens won four gold medals. One person you don't hear a lot about is Korean Sohn Kee-chung. He not only also triumphed over Hitler's super men but also Hitler's other axis power Japan by winning the Olympic Marathon in what was then an Olympic record time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 19 seconds. Because Korea was a Japanese colony at the time, Sohn had to run for Japan. He also had to run under a Japanese name, Kitei Son. When he won the gold medal he not only let the world know he was running for Korea, but he covered his Japanese flag during the medal ceremony!

A Korean newspaper in 1936 was shut down by the Japanese occoupational forces when it ran a photo of Sohn winning the marathon and they "photoshopped out" the Japanese flag on his uniform! (I'm sure they didn't Photoshop back then.)

The sad news is he died about three days ago (Nov 15, 2002). The happy news is he was chosen in 1988 to carry Korea's flag during the Seoul games. Sohn also trained two Korean marathoners that won the '47 and '50 Boston Marathon.

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