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Pacific tennis player handles 2 a.m. classes — from South Korea

Donhee Lee

Dohee Lee ’21

Apr 29, 2020
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Are you having a tough time getting up for that 8 a.m. class? Consider the challenges facing Pacific student-athlete Dohee Lee ’21.

The junior tennis player has a Monday, Wednesday and Friday class that runs from 1:30 to 2:45 a.m. local time, among other courses she now takes at odd hours.

Lee is doing her distance learning from South Korea, where her family now lives. The time difference can make class attendance and course work challenging.

“But I have not missed a class yet,” said Lee, a sport management major. “There have probably been some days where I did not look real happy at 2 in the morning. I am staying engaged and learning. It is working out as well as possible.”

South Korea was a “hot spot” in the early days of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the country has since earned praise for its response, social distancing and testing programs.

“I feel very safe here. Testing is readily available and the government has been proactive,” Lee said during a recent student-athletes’ online chat sponsored by Pacific Athletics. “It was actually more difficult getting to South Korea. I was at SFO (San Francisco International) trying to get a flight. They were shutting down most of the flights. I got on one of the last ones available.”

Lee said it was “heartbreaking” to have the tennis team’s promising season shut down due to the pandemic.

“It has been especially tough for our seniors,” Lee said. “We expected so much out of this season.”

Many of South Korea’s athletic facilities are closed, similar to the United States. Lee said she has had to be creative to get quality workouts.

“You have to do a lot of body weight training. You want to touch the ball every day and make it a habit. But it’s difficult in tennis if you can’t get out there and hit consistently,” she said.

Lee was born in South Korea and her family moved to Wichita, Kansas. She was the No. 2 tennis player in the state and No. 67 in the country coming out of high school.

She hopes to stay in the United States after graduation and work in the sport management industry.

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