* This post is written by Korean Class Massive, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
Most Brits at the moment are probably getting a bit fed up of all the Olympic hype and dreading the overcrowding, the commuter hell and basically forgetting what the Olympics is really about. But don’t lose interest just yet. The Olympics is a moment where all the world’s eyes will be on our great country and it will see great athletes from all around the world gather together. Ever since the unexpected success of South Korea in the 2002 World cup and with Yuna Kim becoming an international house hold name as one of the top skaters in the world, South Korea has slowly yet gradually showed the world that their athletes are not to be underestimated. No doubt the London 2012 Olympics will be one of the most exciting events of the year. Let’s take a look at some of the South Korean team members and find out a bit more about the South Korean Olympic team!
One of the things we’ll all be hearing a lot during the Olympics are the national anthems of all the world’s great countries. Although we all know our own anthem, just about, can you guys recognise the South Korean national anthem? Never fear, just watch the video below, and you too can sing along when South Korea win some medals!
South Korea has some great talents and we’re really looking forward to their performances. They’ve scooped up many medals in the past, so have no doubt they’ll do well this summer too. To date, South Korea’s medals have mainly come from the areas of combat sports and archery.
The South Korean Olympic team is huge, so we can’t profile all the people. Instead we’ll take a look at a few of the most well known athletes and some really unique people.
Im Dong Hyun:
In 2004, Im Dong Hyun set a world record in the 72 arrow men’s individual ranking round, with a score of 687. Although he was beaten in the quarter finals, he’s still seen as a great hope in the Olympics for South Korea in London. We can see he’s been on form so far this year as during a competition earlier on this season, he shot three bullseyes in one round! However, what’s really amazing about the man is the fact that he’s legally blind! His eyesight is 20/200, and although he’s had offers for free eye surgery, he has refused all of them. And he can still get perfect 10s for scores? Amazing.
Kim Jae Bum:
South Korea is well known for its contact sports, and Kim Jae Bum is one of the athletes in this field that has been constantly impressing people. He is a Judo champion in the 81kg class, and will compete in this year’s Olympics with seven other South Korean male Judo fighters. In 2010, he won his first major medal at the World Judo Championships, where he defeated a two time Olympic medalist to gain this title. In 2011, he won this title again, showing what a pro he is.
Hwang Kyung Sun:
Another big hitter in the area of contact sports, this time in Korea’s own taekwondo, is Hwang Kyung Su. She’s had a long career in this sport and is sure to impress at the London Olympics. She’s not only won three gold medals in the welterweight class at World Championships in the past, but also won gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This summer, will she be able to make it a second Olympic gold?!
Jang Mi Ran:
Jang Mi Ran is a woman who has also been gathering up medals over the years. She’s a weightlifter in the +75kg category, and is an expert in her field. She’s been winning medals since 2002, and over the years has won four gold medals in the World Championships, a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As an Olympic gold medallist, she’ll surely be aiming for the top of the podium again this year.
Park Tae Hwan:
Park Tae Hwan, or ‘Marine Boy’, is the reigning 400m freestyle Olympic gold champion. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics he won this medal in addition to a silver medal in 200m freestyle. Having won the gold at the 2011 World Championships in the 400m freestyle, it seems he’s in top form for the London Olympics.
Park Tae Hwan is also a model for Samsung’s Series 9 Laptop along with actor Kim Soo Hyun. Because of this, Kim Soo Hyun will also be coming over to London for the Olympics to support Park Tae Hwan during his races.
The Taeguk Warriors:
The Taeguk Warriors are the South Korean national football team, and will be playing in this year’s Olympics. Although the South Korean football team isn’t as well known in terms of talent as other countries, they did reach the quarter finals in the 2004 Athens Olympics and have had wins over more experienced footballing nations before, so a lot of people are looking forward to seeing how far they will reach this year. One shocker that has happened for this team is that Man U’s Park Ji Sung, South Korea’s most well known footballer, declined to be part of the team in order to concentrate on club activities.
However, do they need Park Ji Sung or have they got a secret weapon for this Olympics? Singer IU, South Korea’s ‘little sister’, who is also a representative for Samsung like Kim Soo Hyun, will be the official supporter for this squad. Will her support make sure the Taeguk Warriors have a ‘good day’?!
The South Korean Olympic team look really strong, and we look forward to seeing them compete, and hopefully win in the upcoming games. But of course let’s not forget our very own UK team, GOOD LUCK! And to all the other nations coming to the Olympics, we hope everyone will do well and have a great time in our great capital!