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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 12:19 GMT
S Korean claims US skier his son
Bronze medallist Toby Dawson, of the United States, celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's Moguls at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy Thursday Feb. 16, 2006.
Toby Dawson won a bronze in the mogul competition
A South Korean man has claimed he is the natural father of US skier Toby Dawson, who won a bronze in the Winter Olympics last week, media reports said.

Dawson, 27, was adopted by US parents in 1982, from an orphanage in Seoul who did not know who his parents were.

Kim Jae-su, 52, said his lost son went missing during a shopping trip with his mother near a market in the South Korean city of Busan, in 1981.

Dawson was found near the same market, South Korean's Yonhap news agency said.

Kim Jae-su said Dawson looked very like his lost son.

He said he made the connection after friends and relatives called him, saying Dawson looked just like him.

"So I looked at the papers and confirmed it myself," Mr Kim told the newspaper Chosun Ilbo. "There is no doubt that this is the son I lost 25 years ago."

No records

Mr Kim said he never reported the fact his son was missing to police, because he did not think it would help, instead looking for the child himself.

Deborah and Mike Dawson, ski instructors from Colorado, were told the three-year-old had been abandoned.

Deborah Dawson has told the US broadcaster NBC that the child was very traumatised when he first arrived from South Korea.

Toby Dawson said his childhood shyness ultimately helped his skiing.

"I was definitely more aggressive in that area of my life because I was so shy otherwise," NBC quoted him as saying.

Dawson won bronze in the men's mogul competition at the Olympics in Turin.

He has recently said he is searching for his biological parents. Kim Jae-su said he was willing to take a DNA test to prove his paternity.

Toby Dawson on the prospect of meeting his birth family

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