Ko-Yon Games celebrates 50th anniversary
The games, representing the history of universities in Korea, have developed from a sports event into a festival organized under the theme of charity, sharing, and exchange.
Korea University won all five events last year, setting an unprecedented record.
The annual Korea-Yonsei University Friendship Games celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, reaffirming the strong friendship and everlasting tradition between the country’s top two private schools.
The history of the event goes back to the sports competition between Bosung College and Yonhi College during the Japanese colonial era. Through sporting events, students from the two colleges could vent their frustrations against the Japanese colonialists. The annual fall sports event is still the most popular annual festival in the two universities.
The first event between the two colleges was a tennis match held in 1925. After this, the two colleges had a soccer match, named Bo-Yon Games, in 1927, which became the beginning of today’s Ko-Yon Games. In 1965, the number of sports was increased to five, including baseball, basketball, ice-hockey, rugby, and soccer, shaping the current format of the event.
▶ The Games Represent Turbulence in the History of Korea ◀
Since 1965, the event has gone through ups and downs, as the result of historical events and adversity. The game was cancelled for two consecutive years, 1971 and 1972, because of the nationwide student protests against the government. In 1975, the two colleges were too grief-stricken to host a sports event after a tragic car accident involving KU soccer players. Severe student protests against the dictatorial government in 1980 led to the games being called off again. In 1983, the presidents of two colleges announced the cancellation of the games after determining that the political situation and public sentiment were not favorable. In 1996, radical students occupied some of the buildings in Yonsei University without permission, resulting in the games ultimately being called off. If you skim through the history of the games, you can see that it flows in the same vein with the history of Korea.
The cumulative scores for the past 49 years of the Ko-Yon games show that the two rivals have played close games, with KU scoring 17 wins, 18 losses and 9 draws. Since 2000, KU has been slightly ahead of Yonsei with 6 wins, 4 losses and 5 draws. The largest score deficit throughout the history was 23 points when KU defeated Yonsei overwhelmingly 39 to 16 in rugby in 1979. Last year, KU won in all five sports, for the first time ever.
The annual event is not a mere sports exchange program between the two schools any more. It includes a variety of joint programs such as a broadcasting festival and cheering orientation.
▶ Beyond Competition to Volunteer Work and Social Contribution ◀
Under the theme of charity and social contribution, the two universities hold a host of events along with the main sports games. For instance, there was a blood donation competition between the two schools with the purpose of encouraging as many students as possible to donate their blood. Another time students dropped money into a money box, the contents of which later were donated to charity.
Furthermore, students from the Blooming Project Club at KU, who are dedicated to addressing comfort women issues, donated money earned from selling bracelets, pouches, and eco-friendly bags to a civic organization for comfort women.
Every year, Korea University’s Social Service Organization (KUSSO) invited around 600 students living in rural areas to the games, furthering the relationships they built while doing volunteer work and mentoring students from those areas.
In 2013, Infinite Challenge, a Korean television program, distributed by MBC, participated in the Ko-Yon Games as cheerleaders, and broadcasted the stiff competition between the cheering squads of the two colleges. That year, KU and Yonsei ran neck and neck, ending in a tie, just like the heated cheering competition between them.
▶ What’s Special in the 2015 Ko-Yon Games?◀
On September 18, the very first day of the games, a surprise guest visited Jamsil Gymnasium, where the basketball game was taking place. The United States Ambassador to Korea, Mark W. Lippert, who is known to be greatly interested in sports, came to watch the game. KU President Jaeho Yeom changed his seat to the one next to the ambassador, and they watched the game together. Mr. Lippert also visited KU in June of this year and had a candid conversation with around 200 KU students.
Just like last year, all of the students who came to watch the basketball game were offered loaves of KU Bread and cartons of Yonsei Milk by the two colleges. These free snacks were for solidifying friendly relations between the two universities.
As a special event to commemorate the 50th anniversary, an all-star soccer game was held at Mokdong Stadium on September 19, at 1 pm, between the rugby game and the soccer game. In the all-star game, senior players from the two colleges were divided into two teams regardless of which university they belonged to and played a great game, which entertained the audience.
▶ Clean, Caring Event ◀
This year, the KU student council arranged seats for disabled students so that they could comfortably enjoy the game.
Student environmental clubs from both colleges joined together to distribute 1,000 garbage bags to students, encouraging them to voluntarily collect garbage and clean up the stadium after the game.
▶ 2015 Korea-Yonsei Games Review ◀
[Baseball] Victory on the First Game
In the baseball match, which began at 11:00 a.m. on 18th (Fri), on the first day of the Korea-Yonsei Games, Korea University (KU) defeated Yonsei University (YU) by a score of 7 to 5, earning a victory in the very first game.
KU scored four runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, KU’s designated hitter Yu-Seong Cho made a timely hit to score three runs. Then when a YU player made an error, Cho dashed to reach home, adding another run for KU. YU attempted to come back in the same inning, but ended up earning only one run.
Neither team scored in the second inning. But, in the third inning, with runners on first and second base and with two outs, KU’s Won-Wook Kim made another timely hit, scoring another one run. YU earned two more runs in the fifth inning, but KU’s Kyu-Nam Kim (’14, Department of Physical Education) and Sang-Min Song, each of whom drove in run in, respectively, the sixth and seventh innings, never allowed YU to catch up.
YU earned single runs again in each of the seventh and eighth innings, but they could not narrow the gap. In the ninth inning, Ju-Han Kim took the mound for KU, finishing the game with a 7-5 victory. Kim, “the man of the Korea-Yonsei Games,” threw 146 pitches for the complete game victory.
[Basketball] As Expected … KU’s Total Record now Being 21 Wins, 4 ties and 20 losses
KU defeated YU in the basketball game as well, which took place at 3 p.m. in Jamsil Basketball Court, by a score of 85 to 74. KU has won the basketball competition for five years in a row, beginning in 2011.
The two rivals ran neck and neck in the first quarter. YU scored first. YU’s Hoon Heo took the ball and targeted the back court of KU, earning nine points, including a three-pointer. KU refused to quit. Seong-Gon Mon also earned nine points, including a three-pointer, for KU. KU’s Jong-Hyun Lee also threw down a dunk, almost evening the score with YU, who led 22 to 22 at the end of the first quarter.
YU’s Jun-Yong Choi led the game, keeping his team ahead of KU by two points in the first half of the second quarter. But then KU took advantage of a foul made by YU, earning the chance to shoot free throws, all of which they successfully made. When Dong-Yeop Lee hit a buzzer beater for KU at the end of the second quarter, KU went ahead 42 to 40.
YU turned the game back around at the beginning of the third quarter. YU’s Gi-Beom Cheon sank two three-pointers, putting his team ahead of KU again. Jin-Yong Kim also added fuel to YU’s lead. It was KU’s senior players who took the lead back. Dong-Yeok Lee tied the game with a basket, and Seong-Gon Moon broke the tie in favor of KU with a three-pointer three seconds before the buzzer sounded. However, as YU’s Gi-Beom Choi shot a buzzer beater right at the moment he crossed midcourt line, the third quarter ended with a 61 to 61 tie.
KU’s Nak-Hyun Kim opened the scoring in the fourth quarter. Dong-Yeop Lee, the team leader, then threw a three-pointer, which put KU ahead for good. As KU’s Jong-Hyun Lee made a wonderful alley-whoop dunk, Jamsil Court was filled with those in crimson uniforms singing the cheering song, Baet-no-rae. After Lee’s dunk, YU made several mistakes, perhaps due to their frustration, and allowed KU to pull ahead. KU grabbed the victory by eleven points: 85 to 74.
Dong-Yeop Lee, KU’s team leader, expressed the squad’s gratitude to all KU students who cheered the team throughout the game, saying, “We could keep ourselves motivated even till the end thanks to the cheerful support of our KU fellows.” Prior to this year’s game, the total record of the rival basketball teams was a perfect tie (20 wins-4 ties-20 losses), and KU broke the tie on this day. It is the first time KU’s basketball team’s has surpassed YU’s since 1974, which is even more meaningful because KU extended its winning streak at the Korea-Yonsei Games to five years in a row.
[Ice Hockey] A Tight Match till the End
The ice hockey game, the last event of the first day, took place at 5 p.m. in the Mok-dong Ice Rink.
The stadium was full of spectators in crimson, probably thanks to KU’s victory in last year’s ice hockey contest.
KU and YU began the first period fiercely. As KU’s Young-Hun Kim (’13, Department of Physical Education) and Doo-Hyun Hwang (’13, Department of Physical Education) received penalties a minute apart, KU was shorthanded. But the remaining three coped well and killed the penalties. KU’s goalie Yeon-Seung Lee kept YU off the scoreboard until almost the end of the period. A moment before the end of the first period, however, YU went ahead of KU by 1 to 0, as Jeong-Woo Jin scored on a backhand shot.
After the teams switched the ends, the second period began. This time two of YU’s players were penalized, and KU went on a power play. YU managed to defend against a series of attacks from KU. But later KU again allowed a YU player - Hyung-Gyum Kim this time - to score a goal in the second half of the second period. Jeong-Woo Jeon then assisted on Chong-Hyun Lee’s goal, adding to YU’s lead. KU counterattacked, but Min-Chul Kim (’14, Department of Physical Education) and Doo-Hyun Hwang (’14, Department of Physical Education) were denied by the YU defense. Finally, Ye-Heon Hwang scored for KU, with an assist by Jae-Hyun Yoon, in the seventeenth minute. But YU’s Ho-Seong Lee scored again, and the second period finished 4 to 1 in YU’s favor.
KU’s cheerleaders were also a part of the team; they all kept cheering throughout the whole game, so the players could do their best.
KU did better in the third and last period. Jae-Hyun Yoon scored a goal, and Min-Chul Kim (’14, Department of Physical Education) added goals, narrowing the gap to only a single point. But while KU continued to play well with particularly well-organized teamwork, due to YU’s goalie Kwon-Young Kim’s good defense, KU ended the game without earning extra points.
[Rugby] Close, But Lost by 21 to 24
At 11 a.m. on the 19th (Sat), the second day of the Korea-Yonsei Games, half of the Mok-dong Stadium, where the rugby match took place, was filled with KU students.
KU’s Yeon-Shik Jeong first scored a try in the thirteenth minute, then Jae-Hyuk Ryu scored a conversion kick, putting the side ahead of YU with a score of seven. As YU’s Seong-Yoon Bang scored a try three minutes later, and then made a conversion kick, the two teams were tied at seven apiece. In the twentieth minute, Jun-Hee Lim (’12, Department of Physical Education) scored another try, earning five points for KU. But YU’s Hyun-Jin Lee scored a try right after, too. The first half of the game ended with a 12 to 12 tie.
The game became even rougher as both fiercely strived to break the tie. YU first began piling up points. Jeong-Min Jang’s try and Yong-Heung Jang’s conversion kick increased YU’s score to nineteen. KU’s Jae-Hyuk Ryu then scored off of a penalty kick awarded to him after a foul by YU. YU’s Yong-Heung Jang then earned another five points with a try in the nineteenth minute. KU tried to come back after that. Jae-Hyuk Ryu again scored off of two penalty kicks in the twentieth and twenty-eighth minutes. Unfortunately, KU lost the game by 24 to 21. Though KU missed the victory, the students gave the players a big round of applause and cheers.
[Soccer] 1 to 1 Tie, the Finale of the Two Rival’s Annual Games
At 2:30 p.m., the soccer match began in Mok-dong Main Stadium.
KU and YU adopted 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-4-1 formations, respectively. The left attacking midfielder Joon-Jae Myung and one-top striker Gun-Hee Kim led KU’s team, while YU’s had Jeong-Wan Yoo and Joo-Hyun Jeon, both of whom are freshmen, playing crucial roles.
YU pressed quite hard during the first half of the game. Joo-Hyun Jeon’s sharp pass broke through the sides of KU’s defense, and Jeong-Wan Yoo rushed through the right of KU’s side. Seung-Gyum Lim and Soo-Jik Kim, KU’s middle guards, had to keep running to fend off Yoo.
The first goal was YU’s. When Jeong-Wan Yoo, while dribbling within KU’s penalty area, fell down, and the KU players were signaling that it was not due to a foul, YU’s Joo-Hyun Jeon, in the thirty-third minute, quickly seized the chance and kicked the ball, which then went in the left side of the net.
KU brought in attacking midfielder Yong-Jun Heo, the team’s “ace,” as a substitute, to reinforce its attack. Heo repeatedly crossed the ball toward YU’s penalty area, rejuvenating the team. In the forty-second minute, Heo, assisted by Seong-Jae Jang’s free kick, made a shot on target, but it did not lead to a score due to YU’s goalkeeper Dong-Jun Kim’s save.
The second half was different: It was KU who pressed and carried the play. KU raised its ball-possession rate, and brushed around in the YU’s end of the ground. In the fourteenth minute, Sang-Min Lee dribbled through YU’s defense down the middle, and passed the ball to Young-Jae Yoo, who then shot the ball quick and long. The ball missed the goal, unfortunately, veering to the right side of the goalpost; but it surely encouraged KU’s strikers. Dong-Won Seo, KU’s team manager, brought in Eun-San Ahn to add even more fuel. Yong-Jun Heo and Eun-San Ahn played spiritedly, having their flings beyond the halfway line during the remaining minutes.
There is a saying in Korea that goes “knock on the door, then it shall open.” KU finally scored a goal, after dribbling through YU’s defense, who were then running out of gas. In the forty-first minute, Yong-Jun Heo passed the ball straight to Eun-San Ahn, who then shot low. The ball dashed into the bottom right side of the net, which YU’s goalkeeper Dong-Jun Kim could not cover ？ hence a 1 to 1 tie. At the moment the goal was scored, four minutes before the whistle, KU students yelled out the cheering song, Baet-no-rae, which shook the whole stadium.
KU kept running to try to score another goal. In the forty-fifth minute, the ball was passed from Eun-San Ahn, through Yong-Jun Heo and then Eun-Seon Lee, to Gun-Hee Kim, who then curled the ball toward the goal, though YU’s Dong-Jun Kim, the goalkeeper, blocked it. The match ended in a 1 to 1 draw, and the whole Korea-Yonsei Games reached its end, too.
KU Soccer Team, as of 2015, has a total record of 19 wins-12 ties-14 losses, still ahead of their counterpart YU.
KU recorded two wins, two losses and a tie, in the fiftieth Korea-Yonsei Games, thereby marking a draw in total. Besides the historic victory of winning all five games last year, KU has also kept marching on with its undefeated record since 2011.
Written by Min-Kyung Seo (Communications Team; firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Reporter Sora Yoon (School of Media and Communication ’11, email@example.com), Student Reporter Chae-Young Park (School of Media and Communication ’13, firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Reporter Hyun-Min Joo (Department of Sociology ’14, email@example.com)
Photographs by Nayoon Kim (Communications Team; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Translated by KU International Writing Services (email@example.com)