Ed Odeven Reporting

sportsolympicmugs_t640U.S. Olympian Kay Poe (center) and best friend Esther Kim. PUBLIC DOMAIN

This feature was the cover story for the September 2000 issue of the KoreAm Journal, a magazine chronicling the Korean-American experience.

On the cover
Esther Kim’s unlikely path to Olympic triumph

Esther Kim’s act of sacrifice leads to a different path to gold

By Ed Odeven

As the taekwondo competitions heat up at the Sydney Olympics in late September, Esther Kim will be sitting in the stands and cheering for her best friend Kay Poe. If not for a fateful decision by Kim, the two women may have found themselves in dramatically different circumstances.

On May 20, two taekwondo standouts, Esther Kim and Kay Poe, were scheduled to fight in the flyweight division finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials at the United States Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs, Colo. Poe, however…

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