Go to contents

“Tumble Down the Third Olympic Gold Medal”

Posted March. 05, 2003 22:24,   


The ‘little giant’ on the mat Sim Gwon-ho (31) who tumbled down the world. He, who shines brightly with two consecutive championships in Olympic Greco-Roman style wrestling in Atlanta 96 (48kg division) and Sidney 2000 (54kg division), is coming back to the mat.

Sim Gwon-ho, who came back for vacation for a month after being selected as a Greco-Roman style coach of the US Wrestling team and leaving the country at the end of last year, said on the 5th, “I would like to wear that Tae-guk emblem once again. Have I ever mentioned retirement with my own lips?” and said, “I will participate on the national team tryout, which is planed to be on April.”

The blueprint that Sim Gwon-ho shows is to pass the national team tryout on April and achieve the great undertaking of the first ever three consecutive Olympic championships in the Athens Olympic nest year.

However, it is a depth of mountains for Sim Gwon-ho to wear the Tae-guk emblem. The ‘new star’ Im Dae-won already won the first national team tryout last month. For Sim Gwon-ho, he must defeat him at the second tryout and defeat him once again at the final match.

It must be a physical burden for Sim Gwon-ho, who is over thirty. However, Sim Gwon-ho said, “Wrestling is a sport that you can play in old ages. I decided that I could not leave it up to my juniors after watching the Busan Asian Games national team member Ha Tae-yon missed the gold medal.”

There are only 2 people who succeeded on 2 consecutive championships in individual events in the history of Korea`s participation on the Olympics, and they are Sim Gwon-ho and Chon Yi-kyong who won the Women`s Short Track 500m in the Lillehammer Winter Games in 94 and the Nagano Winter Games in 98.

Sim Gwon-ho left the country as a coach of the American national team for two years while not being able to calm down his felling after being omitted from the national team tryout on last May and straying from wrestling as a broadcasting commentator and a movie star.

Sim Gwon-ho was confident that he had no problem in physical strength saying that “I built up my body by tumbling down on the mat with American players” at the American national team camp in the Springs, Colorado. It means that he actually played the role of a playing coach.

“To win or lose is not a big deal. I will do my best for my goal and I will satisfy with the result.”

That is the confident and dignified comment from the returning ‘little giant’ Sim Gwon-ho.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com