This is David Patrician with the Voice of America. Today we are reporting from the MCI Center in Washington DC and we are going to meet NHL hockey star Richard Park of the Minnesota Wild.
David: Good afternoon, we are here with the Voice of America today with Richard Park of the Minnesota Wild. How are you?
Richard: Excellent, thank you.
David: I had a few quick questions for you. First of all, how did you get interested in hockey and some of the influences that got you to start playing hockey?
Richard: Actually, there wasn’t really an influence that got me to start playing hockey. My sisters were figure skaters and I just went public skating one time. Coincidentally there was a little hockey player out there who played hockey and this was in Los Angeles and I was seven at the time so it wasn’t very popular, but it was different, and I wanted to try something different and I fell in love with sport right away.
David: There are not many professional Asian players in the NHL. Being one of the first it is a great honor. Are there some challenges and some difficulties you had breaking in?
Richard: I think no matter what color your skin you are there is going to be challenges in whatever you do in life and it might be a little harder for different people depending on the circumstances, but the barrier has been broken by a few players before me, so it was a little easier for me. You don’t really realize the color of your skin when you play this game.
David: Could you tell us one the best players you have ever played against and how was that experience? Richard: Well, I was fortunate enough to play against Wayne Getzky, and I consider him the greatest player to ever play the game. So it was a big thrill for me and something that I will always cherish and remember.
David: The world championships, could you tell us a little about that experience?
Richard: That was over in Sweden and it was a great experience. I played for representing my country in 16s, 17s and two world games. So to get a chance to go over there at the professional level was a great experience for me and I had a great time.
David: Have you ever had a chance to visit Korea recently and also did you play some hockey or did you watch the Korean Hockey League out there while you were visiting?
Richard: Yeah, actually, I went over, I believe it was four summers ago, and the Hyundai Oil Bankers were very good to me. They brought me over with my family, and I had a great experience and it something that I will probably be interested in doing something more in further detail in the future.
David: World Cup 2002 Korea did very well. Were you following that along and how was your feeling during that time?
Richard: Actually, my family is not very big soccer games but they kept tabs on it. It was a heart breaker when they lost 1-0. We kept tabs on it and my parents living in Los Angeles where there is a big Korean community and when things like happen it makes us very proud.
David: My final question, for our music show, could you tell us your favorite group, and maybe one or two songs from that group and we will play it for our next Korean show on your behalf.
Richard: Sure, my favorite group is Creed, and my favorite song is “Arms Wide Open”. The singer actually wrote it for his son and I have a two year old so it makes me think of him when I hear that song.
David: Thanks a lot for taking the time and I wish you the best of luck for the remainder of the season.