The Olympics are here! The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) has selected a team of 204 athletes, 103 men and 101 women, to compete in 22 sports; it was the nation’s smallest team sent to the Olympics since 1984, just six athletes relatively short of its size. South Korea did not qualify athletes in basketball, rugby sevens, tennis, and triathlon.
2012 Olympic Medal History
Shooting | 3 Gold, 2 Silver
Archery | 3 Gold, 1 Bronze
Fencing | 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze
Judo | 2 Gold, 1 Bronze
Swimming | 2 Silver
Gymnastics | 1 Gold
Badminton | 1 Bronze
Here’s a list of the South Korean athletes to look out for during the 2016 Rio Olympics!
Jin Jong Oh
Birth date: September 24 1979 (36 years old)
Hometown: Gangwon-do (South Korea)
Description: One of the most successful individual sports shooters of the Olympics, who competed in three summer Olympics to date (2004, 2008, 2012). He currently holds two world records and is the only individual to win two consecutive gold medals in men’s 50 meter pistol.
Ki Bo Bae
Birth date: February 20 1988 (28 years old)
Hometown: Anyang, Gyeonggi-do (South Korea)
Description: A South Korean archer who was ranked the world’s number one archer in August 2015. She is the current World champion and the defending Olympic champion in archery.
An Chang Rim
Birth date: March 2 1994 (22 years old)
Hometown: Kyoto (Japan)
Description: South Korea’s premier lightweight Judo champion and the nation’s representative in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He is currently ranked first in the world and seeded first in the Olympics.
Kim Ji Yeon
Birth date: March 12 1988 (28 years old)
Hometown: Busan (South Korea)
Description: A South Korean sabre fencer and the 2012 Olympic champion. Having started foil fencing at the age of 13, she is the first South Korean woman to win a gold medal in fencing in the Olympic games.
Shin A Lam
Birth date: September 23 1986 (29 years old)
Hometown: Geumsan (South Korea)
Description: An épée fencer whose 2012 duel sparked a huge controversy in the Olympic games after a timekeeping error gave her opponent a timing advantage. When South Korea immediately appealed the decision, Shin waited for over an hour on the duelling ground, in accordance to the fencing bylaws, while judges deliberated and eventually gave the win to Shin’s opponent.
Son Yeon Jae
Birth date: May 28 1994 (22 years old)
Hometown: Seoul (South Korea)
Description: An individual rhythmic gymnast, dubbed the “National Fairy” of South Korea. She has won titles in the 2014 Asian Games, 2010 Asian Games, and 2014 World Championships.
Park Tae Hwan
Birth date: September 27 1989 (26 years old)
Hometown: Seoul (South Korea)
Description: An Olympic swimmer who is the first South Korean to win an Olympic medal in swimming. He has competed and won medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, and is to compete once more in the upcoming 2016 games. His recent controversial steroid scandal almost risked his right to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Kim Jang Mi
Birth date: September 25 1992 (23 years old)
Hometown: Incheon (South Korea)
Description: A South Korean female sports shooter who has won two gold medals in the past – one in women’s 25 meter pistol in the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games and another in 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games.
Lee Yong Dae
Birth date: September 11 1988 (27 years old)
Hometown: Hwasun, Jeollanam-do (South Korea)
Description: A South Korean badminton player who is widely considered to be “one of the greatest doubles players of all time.” Lee has ranked as world champion with four different players and is to compete once again in the upcoming Olympics in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
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