February 20, 2006 at 09:05 AM

Korean man says he's father of U.S. medalist

Last week Toby Dawson was one of those treacly stories of triumph the Olympics gets all weepy over.

Abandoned as a two-year-old in his native South Korea, adopted by a couple of ski instructors from Vail, Colorado, goes on to medal for the U.S.

"This has been Toby's dream for so many years," said his mother Deborah Dawson. "Can you believe it? Here we are. I am so incredibly proud."

Now a man in Korea claims to be Dawson's father.

In recent years Dawson has started to embrace his Korean heritage and expressed an interest in finding his birth parents.

Three times couples have come forward only to refuse a DNA test.

With his medal win last week, a movement was launched anew to help find Dawson's Korean parents.

Now Kim Jae-su, 52, says Dawson is his long lost son Bong-suk.

Korean news stations have run side-by-side photos of father and son, showing a very real resemblance.

Kim says there is no record of his son's disappearance because he and his wife never bothered to report him as missing, opting instead to look for the boy themselves.

In March Dawson will be competing in the 2006 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Jisan, just outside Seoul.


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