Equity & Diversity

Former Undocumented Immigrant Goes to the Olympics

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 13, 2010 1 min read
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English-language learners might find it interesting to follow Simon Cho in the upcoming winter Olympics in Vancouver. He’s a Korean-born speedskater who lived in this country illegally as a child, but is now a U.S. citizen and representing this country in the Olympics this year. I think a lot of immigrant students could identify with the sacrifices his parents have made for him to be successful as an athlete.

The reason Jay Cho sneaked his son, Simon, his sister, and their mother into the United States 14 years ago illegally? He’d been working in the United States alone for several years and missed his family, says a story about the family published today in the Washington Post.

Simon is 18 and stopped his high school studies after his sophomore year to pursue full-time training. That could be a topic of discussion for ELL students. Did Cho make the right choice, to drop out of high school to aim for the Olympics?

Photo via AP

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.