US Olympic medallist finds South Korean birth father
Toby Dawson (right) and his fiance Leah Halmi participate in a
at the main office of the Korea Tourism Organisation in Seoul
The Korea Tourism Organisation appointed the US skier as a goodwill
ambassador to promote Korean tourism.
US Olympic freestyle skiing medallist Toby Dawson said yesterday he
found his biological father and would be meeting him 25 years after
going missing as a toddler in a busy market street in South Korea.
Dawson became an overnight sensation in South Korea when he won the
bronze in men's freestyle skiing moguls at the Turin Winter Olympics
After his Olympic glory, pictures of him beaming in Turin graced the
front pages of South Korean papers along with a shot of him as a sad
small boy wearing a tattered shirt at an orphanage waiting for someone
to claim him.
He was abandoned as a toddler and later put up for adoption.
Several people came forward after the Olympics to say they were his
"I guess the necessary questions for me to understand would be why I
lost for so long and why I was in an orphanage and why the search
a little bit stronger and efforts weren't a little bigger to help and
come find me," he said.
DNA testing in recent weeks confirmed that a bus driver in the
port city of Pusan, Kim Jae-su, 53, who had come forward last year
Dawson won his Olympic medal, was indeed his biological father.
"It's going to be exciting, and I look forward to meeting this man,"
Dawson, 28, was adopted at the age of three by a pair of ski
He said childhood was at times difficult because he often stood out in
his adopted community.