With the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics fast approaching, South Koreans have increasingly turned their attention toward various winter sports, most notably—ice hockey. Not only has the sport been given greater coverage in various Korean news outlets, it is also being featured in the long-awaited sequel to the box-office hit “Take Off” (2009). The sequel, “Take Off 2”, will be showcasing the Women’s National Ice Hockey Team in the 2004 Aomori Tournament and is scheduled to release this year.
The sequel is particular to Sue Lee (11), SIS student and former national athlete, given her experiences with the team, the sport, and the upcoming film. Sue made the life-changing decision last year to represent the nation as a member of the Women’s National Ice Hockey Team. Although she later opted out to focus on her academic life, Sue still maintains close ties with her teammates and continues to play ice hockey as a hobby. Starring as an extra, Sue can be spotted playing the role of a North Korean hockey player.
“Being a part of the movie filming was definitely new and cool,” Sue said. “It was an honor to meet some of the celebrities. It honestly felt like a dream; I was really nervous about meeting people that I once saw on TV. More specifically–not saying I am pro-North Korea–it was really cool when I got to wear a North Korean jersey and a wig during the shoot.”
The plotline is based on the team’s struggles in preparation for and during their first tournament, five years after the establishment of the team. Initially, the team was consisted of those who had once aspired to become figure and speed skaters, but had lost hope in their respective sports. The movie depicts the team overcoming these initial struggles through the introduction of a North Korean defector into the team, who had once played on the North Korean ice hockey team.
“The plot of the movie is really interesting as it shows the tensions between North and South Korea from a sports perspective,” said Sue. “There is a scene where the captain of the 2004 team, the North Korean defect, meets her old teammates and is greeted with cold glances. This apparent tension really spices up the vigor between the two teams when they meet at the tournament.”
With famous celebrities such as Soo Ae, Oh Dal Su, and Oh Yeon Seo playing lead roles, and with the new hype surrounding winter sports, Director Kim Jeong Hyeon hopes to attract a large audience upon its release.
“It is great to hear that such an underrated sport in Korea is going to be the center of the spotlight in a movie,” said Daniel Min (11), ice hockey player. “Not only am I going to be able to watch my favorite pastime in a movie, but I will also be able to see the progress and history of the nation and the sport together.”