Lost Boy Earns Gold

Sep 7, 2013

The tragedy of a lost boy in a Korean market had a happy ending at the 2006 olympics in Torino. 

Hi, this is Tom Kelly and I’ll be right back with the Olympic story Behind the Gold.

The U.S. ski team had long been a powerhouse in freestyle moguls with medals in every Olympics since its 1992 debut. Heading into Torino in 2006, all eyes were on Jeremy Bloom. Instead, it was a Korean born athlete from Yale who stepped into the spotlight.

Toby Dawson's story captivated the planet. Under the lights in Sauze D'oulx, Italy, Dawson won bronze. But that was only a small part of his Olympic story. Born in Korea, he became separated from his mother in a crowded market at the age of three. His father spent days searching orphanages with no success.

Later, he was adopted by a family from Yale and his new life began. The Olympics brought out the tale of the Korean orphan with hundreds of Korean journalists clamoring for the Toby Dawson story. Dozens of families in Korea came forward to claim him as their son. A year later, he was reunited with his real father. Today, he lives in Seoul as one of Korea’s greatest sports stars, coaching young skiers from his homeland who hope to medal when the Olympics come to Pyeong Chang in 2018.

This is Tom Kelly with Behind the Gold … only in Park City … only on KPCW.

Behind the Gold is sponsored by Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf.