Before meeting Park Ji-won (27, Seoul City Hall), who has emerged as a signboard of Korean short track speed skating, I looked back at the video of the International Skating Union (ISU) World Short Track Speed Skating Championship held last month. Although I watched the race in the field, I took out my smartphone again to take a closer look at the situation and key scenes at the time.
The part that caught my eye was the video of the 1500m and 1000m finals.메이저사이트 Park Ji-won showed off his confidence with confident eyes and hand gestures even before the game, when anyone would be nervous. He even showed the ability to hold a ceremony ahead of the finish line. Where did that confidence come from? Also, what kind of player is Park Ji-won, who is still covered by a veil? I met Park Ji-won at the Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul, the training ground, with many questions in my heart.
This season was a time when the three letters of Park Ji-won’s name were clearly imprinted. She first swept 14 gold medals in the World Cup, which was held by 1 to 6. At the World Championships held at the Mokdong Ice Rink last month, she reached the summit in the individual event of 1500m and 1000m. In the meantime, she also confirmed the first place in the overall world rankings and even held a crystal trophy in the nature of the best player trophy. This is why one more plaque display case was needed in the room.
Park Ji-won, who had the best season, said, “This was the first international competition where I won the individual gold medal in front of my parents. I was really proud. Neither my mother nor my father showed much expression, but I could feel that they were happy inside,” she said with a smile. “The feeling of floating in the sky now feels a little calmer. Now, I am trying not to be arrogant.”
Park Ji-won received the benefit of not having to go through the national team selection event (Jincheon National Training Center on the 18th to 23rd), which “even makes her feel her lifespan is decreasing” due to her performance this season. He may take a break, but he never neglects training. He still runs on the ice every day from dawn to late evening. He sometimes volunteers as a training partner for his colleagues at Seoul City Hall.
Of course, there is no rest. He relieves stress on the ice with his own little hobby. Park Ji-won said, “The camera is my resting place. He mainly shoots training scenes of his fellow players. It’s a hobby that started a year ago with the mindset of ‘let’s record the moment’ with photos and videos. At first, everyone was shy, but now they ask, ‘When will you film again?’” he laughed.
Park Ji-won, born in Gangneung in 1996, started his relationship with skating at Gyeongpo Elementary School. At first, he took classes as a hobby. However, his skills better than his peers changed his fate. At the time, the instructional coach recommended that he enter the elite, so he focused only on short track. Then, before the second semester of his 6th grade in elementary school, he moved to Hansan Elementary School in Seoul and started to walk the path of a full-fledged player.
Park Ji-won said, “I wasn’t a player who often ranked first. By the time he was in school, he had more silver and bronze medals. So he ran harder,” he recalled. At one time, his small body was also a complex. Currently, Park Ji-won’s height and weight are 170 cm and 65 kg. When he was young, he was smaller than his peers and was often pushed back in physical fights. Park Ji-won said, “At that time, the disadvantages became medicine. He would rather find a strategy to win without a physical fight. By doing so, he rather learned how to win first place without the disqualification factor,” he explained.
Park Ji-won, who has grown up with a complex as nourishment. However, the 20s were a season of trials. He suffered back-to-back defeats in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics national team selection matches. He had to watch only on TV as his teammates wore the Taegeuk mark and won medals.
Park Ji-won said, “Personally, I had high expectations for both tournaments. After becoming a member of the national team for the first time in the 2015-2016 season, the Olympics was an event that I really wanted to go to and had to go to. But in the end, I couldn’t cross that wall because of my lack of skills.” “Still, I watched all the Olympic games. I thought that just because I fell, I didn’t turn my back on the short track that I loved so much.”
While the two Olympics passed, Park Ji-won was already in her late 20s. Some worried, “Isn’t Park Ji-won’s precious time over like this?” However, Park Ji-won stood up proudly. She opened her first season with her best performances throughout her men’s and women’s national teams this season. Just like she did when she was a child, this time her disappointment and frustration were good nourishment.
Finally, she asked Park Ji-won for the source of her confidence. She was curious about the secret to finishing her race in first place without ever getting nervous. Park Ji-won said, “I have to work out until I am satisfied. That way I wouldn’t be nervous in front of the start line. I think that has led to her confidence,” she said. Through off-season complementary training, she will be in better shape next season,” she said with strength.