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I Hope You Will Get Well Soon

Posted October. 30, 2002 22:49,   


“He was vigorous only 3 months before …. I am grieved.”

Hwang Yeong-Jo, gold medallist of Barcelona Olympics (32, marathon team of Sports Promotion Foundation) went to visit Son Gi-Jeong (90), the gold medallist of Berlin Olympics in 1936 in the hospital. As he couldn`t be discharged from the hospital for over 2 weeks, Mr. Hwang came to visit him in the hospital.

Mr. Hwang lost his words as soon as he saw Mr. Song lying down on the bed with a hose connected to his nose. “He has become weak. He could eat a meal sitting even three month ago ….”

Mr. Son was hospitalized on 14th of last month and has been treated so far because his lungs are inflamed due to infecting a food to trachea. Even after hospitalized, he couldn`t swallow the food and so get nutrition through hose. It is the third long term hospitalization this year.

His daughter, Mun-Yeong (61) who has cared for him said, “He could hold out longer because of his strong heart.”

She pointed Mr. Hwang and asked to him, “Father, do you know what he is?” He said “Yeong-Jo.” He said “if you develop your ability …”. He seemed to be not satisfied with that Mr. Hwang gave up the marathon early.

When Mr. Hwang won the gold medal of marathon in Barcelona Olympics, he was very happy and said, “I lost what I have to say… My knees crumpled like pastry and I sank weakly to the ground.” After that, Mr. Hwang is font of him. Whenever Mr. Song has spare time, he went to visit Mr. Song.

Mr. Son spoke out again, “Who went in Boston. Lee Bong-Ju. Where is he?” His daughter said to him, “Mr. Lee won the gold medal in Busan Asian Games”. He smiled being satisfied with it.

At that time, his spirit was very clear. Her daughter said that he sometimes didn`t remember anybody. He has always laid down being exhausted. She rejected a photo-taking because she didn`t like showing his weak body.

His doctor, Huh Wu-Seong said “ His disease is caused by the infirmities of old age. His pneumonia got better. However, he could hardly sit down.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com