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Torch relay for Korean American National Sports Festival kicks off in LA, heading to New York for exciting games

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Joo-hyun Chung (second from left in front row), president of the Korea Sports Association in USA, along with officials from the Korean Sports Association of LA, walk in Koreatown in Los Angeles, holding torches, on May 30. [Sangjin Kim, The Korea Daily]
The torch relay, marking the prelude to the 22nd Korean American National Sports Festival, commenced its journey to New York after a lighting ceremony in Los Angeles on May 30.
The sports festival will resume in New York from June 23 to 25, after a four-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

“At 11 a.m. in Koreatown, Los Angeles, we began our journey from L.A. and will visit 17 regions across the country, including Orange County and Denver, to announce the resumption of the sports festival,” said Joo-hyun Chung, president of the Korea Sports Association in USA. “We ask for the enthusiastic interest and support of the Korean American community in each region.”

Jeong-soo Hong, president of the Korean Sports Association of LA, stated, “More than 180 participating players from L.A., ranging in age from high school students to people in their 60s, will compete in the sports festival. We will do our best to achieve good results this year as we ranked top in the 2019 games.”

The L.A. team will compete in 13 events, including table tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and bowling.

“I will be leading the L.A. team at the games,” said James An, president of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles. “I am happy to see the unity and harmony of the Korean American community. We will do our best to achieve good results.”

“We will be accepting applications for about three more weeks,” added Hong. “We ask for the interest and support of Korean Americans in Los Angeles.”

The games will be held in New York City from June 23 to 25, with events taking place at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Mitchel Athletic Complex, and Eisenhower Park.

More than 4,500 players are expected to compete in 21 events, including kendo, golf, wrestling, ice hockey, archery, judo, track and field, foot volleyball, and fencing.

The opening ceremony will feature celebrating concerts by K-pop girl group G.Idle, as well as traditional Korean musical performance and taekwondo demonstration, Korean food experiences, and is expected to draw more than 15,000 participants.

“The Korean American National Sports Festival began as a way for Korean Americans to regain their health through physical activity in a busy and tired modern society,” said Chung, chairman of the organizing committee. “It is a meaningful occasion for Korean Americans to come together and arouse their pride and self-esteem as Korean Americans.”

The organizing committee was led by Woo Chon Kwak, president of the Korean Sports Association of NY, Joo-hyun Chung, president of the Korea Sports Association in USA, and Suk-chan Lee, 16th president of the Korean Sports Association of NY.

The Korean American National Sports Festival has been held every two years since its inaugural sports event in Los Angeles in 1981. Los Angeles hosted the 10th event in 1999 and will once again host the 23rd event in 2025.

For inquiries, please contact: (213) 500-9621.

BY YEJIN KIM   [support@koreadaily.com]