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More cutting edge with Kim Navarro

Gestures of kindness, adoration make days in Korea shine

Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre celebrate after winning bronze medals.
Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre celebrate after winning bronze medals. (Getty Images)

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By Kimberly Navarro, special to icenetwork.com
(02/15/2008) - Love was still in the air the day after Valentine's Day — with the exception of the morning bus ride, that is.

Brent and I opted for an earlier shuttle, so we did not witness the incident first hand. But from what I have heard from Meryl, Charlie, Jennifer and Daniel, things got ugly between the bus driver and a policeman, or two, this morning.

Again, I am piecing this together, but it sounds like the bus driver had done a number of things to anger the cops. He loaded people into the bus while blocking traffic or he made a few illegal turns, or both. A policeman pulled him off the bus and they had a heated argument. At some point, the bus driver was pushed against the bus and at another point the bus driver's hand was smashed in between the door when he tried to open or close it.

A quote from Charlie White pops into my head right now which is "Please don't make me re-live it."

When things didn't look as though they were clearing up, Meryl, Charlie, Jennifer and Daniel grabbed a taxi and began the process of getting to the rink. Apparently, nothing in all our papers or on our credentials has the rink's address, so eventually Daniel eventually guided the taxi driver to the Goyang International Ice Arena. With all the signs being in Korean, this was not an easy feat. Therefore, Daniel is my new hero for the day.

The rest of the day went much smoother and, like I said before, love was still in the air. This I say because I saw many gestures of kindness or adoration.

First, my mom and I have found this incredible Aveda hair salon behind the hotel and today the stylists helped fix my hair for the free dance. Not only would the owner, So Young, not accept any money, but she also gave my mom a set of pretty Korean coasters as a gift! She told us that many years ago she was in San Francisco and found herself very intimidated. An American woman befriended her and made her feel at home. She told us that she had always wanted to do the same. We were the lucky recipients of such a kind gesture!

Second — and this I still can't get over — the father of former skater Chuen Gun Lee came to root on the American teams during the free-dance event! I guess he lives nearby and is a big fan of skating. How amazing is that?! He cheered loudly and really was one of the best fans in the crowd. After the event, he gave our coach a big bag filled with beautiful Korean presents.

My last example is also my favorite. After the free-dance event, the top three teams had to walk over to the gymnasium where the press conference was to be held. We were heading towards the arena's exit when someone asked "Wait, where is Brent?" Then we heard all these screams and looked outside to find Brent posing for a bunch of Korean skating fans! And yes, he was in heaven from the attention. And yes, I am a little worried about what this has done to him. The Korean skating fans have made Brent Bommentre a photo-posing monster. We have a new Paris Hilton of the skating world!