Give this to Toby Dawson: "I love," he said, "jumping into things head first." The 2006 Torino Winter Games bronze medalist in moguls skiing for the United States, adopted long ago as a toddler by a pair of American ski instructors after being abandoned on the doorstep of a police station in Pusan, in the far south of South Korea -- he's now the Korean national freestyle ski coach.
He's getting to know his real father, and step-mother, better. And his brother.
He knows now where his mother is, too. And someday, when he speaks the language much better, he will meet her.
"This is one of the biggest adventures of my life," he said on his mobile phone, the wind whistling on the mountain many time zones away over there in Korea.
The genesis of this idea came up last summer, when Toby played a key role in Pyeongchang's winning bid for the 2018 Winter Games.
At the International Olympic Committee session in Durban, South Africa, where Pyeongchang won a landslide victory, Toby told the IOC members his remarkable story -- that he was both Korean by birth and given the name Kim Bong Seok and, of course, that he was an American named Toby Dawson who was an Olympic medalist.
At 3, little Bong Seok had been abandoned on the doorstep of a police station in Pusan. He spent six months in an orphanage, where he was given yet another name -- Soo Chul. Ultimately, he was adopted by American ski instructors Mike and Deborah Dawson, who brought him to a new life in Vail, Colo.
Toby's presentation in Durban was powerful stuff -- and not just for the IOC members.
Afterward, the Korean Ski Assn. reached out to Toby and asked if he would be interested in trying to take its freestyle team to the next level.
The Koreans, excellent in ice sports, have lagged -- significantly, as all involved acknowledge -- on snow. "It sparked my interest," Toby said. "I never saw myself as a coach but it just kind of fell in my lap. And it just seemed like such a right fit."
Toby is a celebrity of sorts in Korea so the fit went both ways. Already, he has become a semi-regular presence there on TV -- which helps the association attract sponsors.
Toby's deal calls for him to be there through the Sochi 2014 Games. The reality is he's likely to be there all the way through 2018.
Toby and his biological father, Jae Soo Kim, who had first reunited in 2007, know each other now. Toby has gone even a step further perhaps with his biological brother, Hyun Chul Kim.
He calls Hyun Chul "dong-saeng," which means "little brother" in Korean. Hyun Chul calls Toby "hyeong," or "older brother." And they're using the terms affectionately.
"I have probably picked up 300 words already. I would guess in the next [few] months I'll be pretty fluent."
At which point he might be ready to meet his mother. "She is in Pusan," he said. "She is in the area where I was lost."
He said, "She contacted my father. I actually know where she is. I am waiting for the right time now … she is hesitant. She is re-married.
"I am not sure she has disclosed being married previously, having lost a child, all that stuff. She wants to keep it under wraps. I want to learn the language," he said, "and meet her one-on-one."