Wednesday, 24th April 2024

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“August is ‘all-in’ to prepare for the IOC Athletes Commission” Kim Yeon-kyung, now dreams of becoming a Korean sports diplomat

After the match between Heungkuk Life Insurance and GS Caltex (GS Caltex 3-0 win) in the KOVO (Korean Volleyball Federation) Cup Women’s Division held on the 3rd at the Park Chung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi, Gyeongbuk, Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I have been thinking about the Athlete Commissioner for a long time. This month, she will be ‘all in’ on preparing for the Athletes Commission,” she said of her aspirations. On this day, Kim Yeon-kyung did not participate in the game in order to arrange her physical strength. IOC Athletes Commission, which is directly elected by Olympic athletes, is a ‘sports diplomat’ that serves as a bridge between the IOC and athletes, and the term is set at 8 years. Members of the Athletes Commission have the same rights and duties as other IOC members, such as directly participating in voting on the venues for the Winter and Summer Olympics and determining Olympic events. The reason why the IOC introduced the Athletes Commissioner system is to actively reflect the opinions of former athletes in IOC policies and to involve them in Olympic activities. It’s like being a player’s player.

Currently, South Korea is looking for a successor to Yoo Seung-min (41, 2004 Athens Olympic Table Tennis Singles Gold Medal), who was elected at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as the term of the IOC Athletes Commission ends until the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The IOC Athletes Commissioner can only run for athletes who competed in the current year or the immediately preceding Olympics. So ‘timing’ is more important than anything else. Kim Yeon-kyung stepped on the Olympic stage from the 2012 London Olympics (semi-finals) to the 2016 Rio and Tokyo Games held in 2021 (semi-finals), which was postponed for one year due to Corona. For him, who returned the Taegeuk mark after the Tokyo Olympics, this is virtually his last opportunity to challenge for the IOC Athletes’ Commission. He said, “There is also a good timing (qualifications are met) at the end of the current commissioner Seung-min Yoo’s term (8 years). In a way, it was the last chance for me.”

Kim Yeon-kyung competes with ‘shooting emperor’ Jin Jong-oh (44), ‘Taekwondo hero’ Lee Dae-hoon (31) and ‘golf empress’ Park In-bi (35) who have already expressed their willingness to challenge. All of them also participated in the Tokyo Olympics. The three candidates are also ‘legends’ who made Korea known to the world in each event. Although the candidate recommendation has not yet been closed, there is a strong possibility that it will be a ‘four-way battle’ between them.

So, no matter how much Kim Yeon-kyung is, it is bound to be a difficult challenge. In the Olympics, she led the ‘four-legged myth’ twice, but because she has no medals decisively. Jin Jong-oh won three consecutive gold medals in the men’s 50m pistol event at Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. Daehoon Lee won medals at London 2012 (silver medal in men’s 58kg) and Rio 2016 (bronze medal in 68kg). Inbi Park won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. At that time, he rose to the highest position in the Olympic golf event, which was revived after 116 years. As if conscious of this part, Kim Yeon-kyung also said, “If you look at the candidates this time, they will be similar to the usual, but they are outstanding.”

The Korea Sports Council plans to close the nomination of candidates for the Athletes Commission by 6:00 pm on the 4th, and to finalize ‘one Korean candidate’ through the internal review process of the Athletes Committee, such as documents and interviews. And during the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will open in July next year, the final selection of the IOC Athletes Commission will be made by player voting. There are a total of four IOC Athletes Commission members selected for the Paris Olympics, and all four must be athletes in different sports.먹튀검증

“I wrote a long self-introduction. I have to reduce it,” said Kim Yeon-kyung, who joked, what is her own competitive advantage? When he was asked about this, he glared with a serious expression and said, “There is a chance to become our country’s representative (candidate), but the question is whether or not I can go to the Paris Olympics in the end.” The good thing about team sports is that it is advantageous to (secure) the voting rights of many players from each country.” She continued, “I talked a lot with volleyball associations in each country. Everyone said they were very helpful. He said a lot of good things such as ‘It’s too good for volleyball itself’ and ‘It’s great’. “Compared to other candidates, I wonder if playing in various overseas leagues (Japan, China, Turkey) will also work as an advantage. It is my strength to have competitiveness in the finals,” he analyzed. Currently, none of the 23 members of the Athletes Commission are former volleyball players.

Kim Yeon-kyung said that she had been studying in her spare time for the selection of the Athletes Commissioner, and would put everything else aside and put all her energy into it. She said, “There is something called the IOC agenda, and it was difficult to master it. There are things (values, etc.) pursued by IOC members, and I had to study a lot about these things,” he said. I am still studying what I want to do in the future.” At the same time, she said, “The club is also considerate of the training schedule, etc.”

Still, Kim Yeon-kyung is an active volleyball player. He also talked about his current physical condition. “After last season, I took a break. He received a program from the team and was also training personally,” he said. There is no problem with him playing in the upcoming season.”

Life is a series of ‘timing’, choices, and challenges. The choice of Kim Yeon-kyung, who is entering her twilight years as an athlete, was the challenge of becoming an ‘IOC Athlete Commissioner’. Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) must recommend ‘one candidate’ to the IOC by September 1. One Korean candidate is expected to be decided by the end of August at the earliest. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “Please understand that it is difficult to tell you about the pledge because the selection process has not yet proceeded.”

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