Yul Moldauer, a member of the United States’ Olympic team for men’s artistic gymnastics, is making waves in South Korea for his Korean heritage.
Yul Moldauer was born in Seoul and was adopted by Americans. While airing the men’s artistic gymnastics apparatus finals, a KBS broadcaster revealed that Yul Moldauer’s Korean name is Kyung Tae, he has a longing for Korea, and that the gymnast is searching for his biological older sister, who might still live in Korea.
KBS also reported that Yul Moldauer was abandoned by his birth mother at the age of one, and he was raised in Colorado by his adoptive parents.
Yul Moldauer’s story touched the hearts of Korean netizens, and many offered support for his search for his biological family. One Korean netizen tweeted that they “hope he finds his birth family after the Games,” and the tweet was retweeted and liked by thousands.
While Yul Moldauer has yet to visit Seoul, his birthplace, he told Voice of America that he’d like to visit the city within the next year.
I always tell myself, ‘If I got a tattoo, it would be a half-American, half-South Korean flag.’ I’m from South Korea. That’s in my blood, so it’s always going to be a special place to me. And hopefully one day, within the next year, I can go visit my home city in South Korea and see what the culture is like and what it’s all about.
— Yul Moldauer