Toby Dawson

Last updated
Toby Dawson
KoreAm July 2007 cover.jpg
On the cover of KoreAm , July 2007
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1979-05-04) May 4, 1979 (age 44)
Busan, South Korea
Medal record
Men's freestyle skiing
Representing the Flag of the United States (23px).png  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2006 Turin Moguls
World Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2005 Ruka Dual Moguls
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2003 Deer Valley Moguls
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2003 Deer Valley Dual Moguls

Toby Dawson (Korean : 김수철; Kim Soo-cheol; born Kim Bong-seok; 김봉석; May 4, 1979) is an American retired mogul skier. He won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Dawson is a featured athlete on the sports medicine show Athlete 360. He is currently a coach for the Korean national freestyle skiing team.


Early life

Dawson was born in Busan, South Korea as Kim Bong-seok. When he was three, then-Kim Bong-seok was at a crowded Jungang market in Beomil-dong, Dong-gu, Busan with his mother and went missing. His father went through many orphanages in the area for days, and his son was nowhere to be found. A couple from Vail, Colorado, who were ski instructors, adopted Kim Bong-seok and he was renamed Toby Dawson.

Reunion with biological parents

A man from Busan, Kim Jae-su (김재수), saw Dawson's image in the media; Kim had a missing son of Dawson's age, a DNA test has proven that Jae-su is indeed Dawson's biological father. Dawson and Kim met in Seoul for the first time on Wednesday, February 28, 2007, along with Kim's younger son. [1] Dawson has stated his intent to start a foundation, named after his birth name, to prevent such cases in the future. [2] [3] After the reunion, Kim, Dawson, and his biological younger brother had lunch.

Dawson met his biological mother on Friday, November 2, 2012 in Busan, South Korea, according to his Twitter, with his biological father and brother. [4]

He is a PR ambassador for Korea National Tourism Organization and the 2014, 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee. [5]

Personal life

Dawson married Leah Halmi on March 14, 2007 in Palm Springs, California. They held a second wedding ceremony on May 24, 2007, in Busan, South Korea. [6] Dawson and his wife were featured on the WE TV show "Platinum Weddings" which premiered on June 24, 2007. The couple wrote a book together, called Twenty-Two Years for Twenty-Two Seconds. They divorced in 2009. [7] On September 14, 2013, Dawson married Kim Yeon-ji, a former member of the South Korean national taekwondo team in Seoul. Kim won the World Taekwondo Championships twice in 2001 and 2003. [8]

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  1. "US skier meets South Korean dad". BBC News . February 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-02.
  2. "Olympian reunites with biological father". Associated Press. February 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-02.
  3. Herman, Burt (February 28, 2007). "US Olympic medalist Dawson reunites with biological father". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03.
  4. "Toby Meets Biological Mother". November 2, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  5. "American Athlete to Be Reunited With Korean Father". ABC News. February 27, 2007.
  6. "Former US Olympic Skier Weds in Korean Style". The Korea Times . 2007-05-24. Archived from the original on 2007-05-28.
  7. "Skier returns to his roots". The Korea Herald . 2011-12-01. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22.
  8. Han, Steve (August 21, 2013). "Olympic Medalist Toby Dawson to Wed Former Taekwondo Champion". KoreAm . Retrieved February 5, 2014.