Some of South Korea's Other Sporting Greats

A Tribute Page From To South Korea's Other, Non-Football Sporting Greats During This Special Year of The Olympic Games.


Chun Lee-Kyung

Kim Soo-Nyung

Sun-Hee Lee

Kwon-Ho Sim

Ahn Hyun-Soo

Sohn Kee-Chung

Kyong-Hun Kim

Lee Kyung Hwa and Shin Soo Ji


K.J.Choi. Golf

Needs no introduction! Top Asian golfer on the Tour and tipped
as a Masters future winner...

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Chun Lee-Kyung. Skating.

Chun Lee-kyung was only 18 years old when she won two of the three short track speed skating events at the 1994 Winter Games : the 3,000m relay and the 1,000m. In the latter final she slid ahead of Canada's
Nathalie Lambert entering the final lap and held on to win by one-tenth of a second. In Nagano, Chun repeated her victories in both events and added a bronze at 500m. Her 1,000m win was particularly thrilling as she edged ahead of China's Yang Yang in the final stride. Chun is one of only seven women to earn four or more career gold
medals in the Winter Olympics.

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Kim Soo-Nyung. Archery

Kim Soo-Nyung was only 17 years old when she won gold medals in both the individual and team archery events before an appreciative hometown
crowd at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. After adding the 1989 and 1991 world championships, Kim earned the silver medal in the individual event at
the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and took home another gold medal in the team event. The she retired at the age of 21. Over the next seven
years, Kim married and raised two children. She returned to training in 1999 and qualified for the Korean (South Korean) Olympic team for the Sydney Games. This time she finished third in the individual event to give her a complete set of medals. Finally, she led the Korean (South Korean) team to an easy victory in the team event to bring her
gold medal total to four.

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Sun-Hee Lee. Taekwondo

In order to qualify for the Korean taekwondo team at the 2000 Olympics, 1996 world junior champion Sun-Hee Lee had to defeat two-time world champion Hyang-Mi Cho. Once at the Sydney Games, Lee began with a 5-1 victory over Kirsimarja Koskinen of Finland and then followed with a 4-1 defeat of Mirjam Mueskens of the Netherlands in the semifinals. In the first round of the final, the bout had to be stopped briefly when Lee's opponent, Trude Gundersen of Norway, kicked her in the throat. Despite this setback, Lee scored twice in each round and won 6-3. Lee said that in taekwondo, "It's not the strongest who becomes the winner; it's the one who beats the strongest.

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Kwon-Ho Sim. Wrestling

Greco-Roman wrestler Kwon-Ho Sim is the only Korean (South Korea) man
to win two gold medals in the Summer Olympics. Competing in the 48-kilogram division, he earned a bronze medal at the 1993 world championships and then became world champion in 1995. At the Atlanta
Games in 1996, Sim won his first Olympic title by defeating Aleksandr Pavlov of Belarus in the final. Sim scored two points with a chest-high roll-through with 42 seconds left in regulation time and then added two more points with another roll in overtime to score a 4-0 victory. Between Olympics, Sim moved up to 54kg. In the semifinals of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he defeated Kang Yong-Gyun of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) 10-0. At the Opening Ceremony, the North and South Koreans had marched together. In this spirit, before the medal matches, Sim gave advice to Kang about the man he would be facing in the bronze-medal match-Andriy Kalashnikov of Ukraine, while Kang gave Sim a scouting report on Sim's
opponent in the gold-medal match-Lázaro Rivas of Cuba. Both Koreans won, with Sim scoring early and often against Rivas and prevailing 8-0.

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Ahn Hyun-Soo. Short Track Speed Skating

Winner of 2006 Olympic Gold Medal!

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Sohn Kee-Chung. Athletics.

On 3 November 1935, Sohn Kee-Chung of Korea (South Korea) set a world
marathon record of 2:26:42.0. Because Korea was, at the time, occupied by Japanese forces, Sohn's hopes for competing in the 1936 Olympics depended on his ability to qualify for the Japanese team. This he accomplished, as did fellow Korean Nam Seung-yong. Both young men were
forced to endure the further insult of adopting Japanese names (his
participation is recorded under the Japanese name Son Kitei). Sohn, a
fervent nationalist, always signed his Korean name in Berlin, and whenever he was asked where he was from, he made it a point to explain that Korea was a separate nation. Defending marathon champion Juan Carlos Zabala of Argentina took the early lead, followed by Sohn and Ernie Harper of Great Britain, who ran together. After 28km, Sohn and Harper passed Zabala. Sohn soon pulled away and won by more than two minutes. Nam finished third behind Harper. At the medal ceremony Sohn was forced to endure the humiliation of having his victory celebrated by the raising of the Japanese flag and by the playing of the Japanese national anthem. Both Sohn and Nam registered a silent protest by bowing their heads. As for the race itself, Sohn explained, "The human body can do so much. Then the heart and spirit must take over." Back in Korea, Sohn was a national hero. One newspaper, Dong-a-Ilbo, published a wire-service photograph of Sohn on the victory platform - but with one alteration: they painted over the Japanese flag on his sweatshirt. The Japanese colonial government responded by jailing eight people connected with the paper and suspending its publication for nine months. In 1948 Sohn was given the honor of carrying the South Korean flag in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, the first to be attended by an independent Korea. Forty years later, in a moment that brought tears to an entire nation, Sohn Kee-chung entered the Seoul Olympic Stadium bearing the Olympic torch. The 76-year-old Sohn bounded around the track, leaping for joy and bursting with pride for himself and for his country.

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Kyong-Hun Kim. Taekwondo

In the inaugural Olympic heavyweight taekwondo tournament, Kyong-Hun Kim opened with two 5-0 victories and then faced co-favorite Pascal Gentil of France in the semifinals. Although the match was hard-fought and close, Kim managed to win 6-2. In the final his opponent was local Australian hero Daniel Trenton. Kim, making the most of a 15cm height advantage, moved ahead 2-1 in the first round, extended his lead to 5-2 in the second round and eventually won 6-2. Although there were eight weight categories (four for men and four for women) at the Sydney Olympics, Korea was limited to only four total entrants. Three won gold medals and the fourth won a silver medal.

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Lee Kyung Hwa and Shin Soo Ji. Gymnastics Greats

Great Gymnastics Performers

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