Update : Saturday, February 24, 2018
National Team Athlete Hong-seok Lee, “Only goal is gold!”
Hong-seok Lee kicks in the Icheon Training Center of the Paralympic National Team through the Intensive Training.

"I will clench a gold medal from the Olympics after diligently training. And I want to make a girlfriend!”

Hong-seok Lee, Kyungmin University’s hearing-impaired freshman and Taekwondo National Team athlete, is burning his passion for a gold medal in the Paralympics. He motivates himself with getting a girlfriend after winning a gold medal.

He finished the first intensive training of the national team that spanned over three weeks at the Icheon Training Center of the Korea Sport and Olympic Council last March. This is to hunt for a ?58kg gold at the 2017 Deaflympics that takes place in Turkey in July.

The doctor had declared him as a hearing-impaired person at the age of five. But he had never given in to school for the deaf and dumb. Instead, he went onto study as normally as before. This was, of course, his parents’ persistence.

“I would listen through the hearing aid and consistently receive pronunciation correction. My parents had sent me to a regular school to avoid any hinderance to practicing pronunciation and speaking if I had gone to a school for the disabled.”

For this reason, he has no problem in speaking. He had begun to learn sign language to communicate with the hearing-impaired athletes after having joined the Paralympics National Team few years back. The sign language interferes with his learning in speaking class. That is why he had distanced himself from sign language, and he still finds himself in difficulty once it comes to communicating in sign language.

He is not only learning sign language in order to communicate with his colleagues. There is another reason that he is using his busy time to study it.

“I had been wanting to become rich. But that has changed. I am going to now become capable of helping others.”

He simply laughs when asked about his potential for the Olympic gold. There is preexisting information on anyone who had advanced onto the Paralympics. So, the opponent is unknown.

Lee had begun his career as an athlete since his first-year in Hanam High School. He speaks humbly about his belated start as an athlete. He has experienced as much as others athletes for having participated in the Defense Minster’s and University Individual championships. His gold medal from the 2015 Taoyuan Asia Pacific Deaf Games helped with his confidence.

Lee cautiously commented as the arriving Paralympics is unpredictable, “It’s neither silver nor bronze. It is only winning.” This is not self-conceit. It’s strong will.

TKDNews  webmaster@eng.tkdnews.com

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