‘Archery Legends’ Seo Hyang-soon and Kim Jin-ho “LA Olympics in 5 Years!”

The venue for the ’60th Anniversary of Korean Archery’ celebration at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul Hotel in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, on Jan. 1. “Is your sister here?” the two middle-aged women shouted as they hugged each other.

They were Seo Hyang-soon, 56, and Kim Jin-ho, 62, professors at the Korea National University of Physical Education, the “starting point” of the “world’s strongest” sport.

Seo was South Korea’s first Olympic gold medalist in archery. She won the individual gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Kim Jin-ho, the senior, is the “original Shingung. At the 1979 World Championships in Berlin, the first time South Korea competed, he won five individual and team titles, as well as distance events, which marked the rise of Korean archery.

After smiling and looking at each other’s faces for a while, as if it was a reunion of separated family members, they were immersed in old memories while looking at the exhibits on the side.

Seo spent a particularly long time in front of the bow with which she shot her gold medal at the LA Olympics.

“I was a baby at the time, so I wasn’t paying attention, but my sister looked at me a little bit, and she said, ‘Thank you, Hyangsoon. You won the gold medal, so I don’t have to take any more abuse.’ And then when we came to Korea and shared a room, we got really close. She taught me everything about how to behave as an athlete.” (Hyangsoon Seo)

Kim was actually the No. 1 favorite to win the title ahead of the LA Games, but he had to settle for a bronze medal due to poor form.

“I was upset (when I stood on the podium in third place), but I think I’ve matured a lot since then, because I’ve come to know the feelings of people who are less fortunate, and I think it’s a very valuable thing in my life.” (Professor Kim Jin-ho)

The two also shared a “secret” story about how they struggled to stay in shape before the LA Olympics because of the delicious snacks at the athletes’ village that they had never tried before.

The team first arrived in the U.S. to train just two weeks before the Games, where they were introduced to scooped yogurt and kiwi for the first time.

“We ate so much that we were always sitting on top of the icebox so the coach wouldn’t eat it. Do you remember my sister? We ate so much! I remember saying to my sister (after eating yogurt), ‘Aren’t you resting?” (Seo Hyang-soon).

“That’s why I didn’t make it to the Olympics. (Laughs) That’s when I tried Yoplait for the first time, and I loved the taste, and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Seo retired early when she married judo gold medalist Park Kyung-ho at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. They immigrated to the United States and now live in Los Angeles, where she runs an archery club.

Professor Kim Jin-ho retired after winning three gold medals at the Seoul Asian Games.

He never left the Korean archery scene. Since 1995, he has been teaching his students at the Korean Gymnasium.

The golden history of Korean archery that they started has lasted more than 40 years.

Up until Tokyo 2020, South Korea had won a total of 43 medals at the Olympic Games: 27 gold, nine silver, and seven bronze. This is the most gold and most medals of any sport in South Korea.

In the women’s team event, Korea has won nine consecutive gold medals from Seoul 1988, when the sport was first introduced, to Tokyo.

When asked why Korean archery has been so successful over the years, the two ‘legends’ point to the efforts of the Korean Archery Federation and the support of Hyundai Motor Company.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of both the coaches and the athletes (to win gold), and that’s why the KOA always prepares really well before a competition, and I think that’s why we win.” (Prof. Kim Jin-ho)

“The difference between first and second place is a blank slate, but at the end of the day, Korea always manages to pull it off. The reason we keep winning gold medals is because of Hyundai’s support. It’s the only country in the world that always has the faith in its athletes to shoot their bows and gives them strong support from behind.” (Hyangsoon Seo)

Seo and Kim talk on the phone almost every week, but it’s been a while since they’ve talked about archery other than “life stuff.

The next Olympics will be held in Los Angeles in five years. They promised to sit side by side in the stands and cheer on their juniors. “You should bring (your sister) to my house,” Seo Hyang-soon said, and Kim Jin-ho replied, “I’ll definitely go.” 슬롯게이밍

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