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The Girl Who Dreams of Paying Soccer

Posted September. 23, 2003 23:17,   


Jin, Byul-hee was fond of playing soccer from her childhood and became outstanding in free kicks.

A North Korean PR magazine, Geumsugangsan featured Jin (23) in the July edition of this year as the female athlete, who even plays soccer in her dream.

At the first match of the 2003 Women`s World Cup on the September 21, held at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Jin contributed 2 scores and 1 assist to Korea` s victory over Nigeria by three to zero.

When young, Jin, Byul-hee began to follow her older brother to the soccer field. Despite her parents` dissuasion, she entered the youth soccer team and began her career on the field at the Mangyungdae youth school.

Her mother named her Byul-hee, with Byul meaning a star with hope Byul-hee leads a shiny life. Her mother tried to make her loving daughter to become a pianist, a guitar player, or a computer engineer. Nevertheless, Byul-hee insisted on her choice to become a soccer player, asking her mother, “What`s wrong for me to become a soccer player?”

Her mother finally stepped back from her obsession on her daughter when soccer experts told her, “Byul-hee is talented physically and mentally to become an excellent athelete.” Afterward, Jin entered the Wolmido athletes` corps.

“The most joyous moment is when I keep track of the training record in the evening and the most exciting moment was when I made three scored for the first time at the 13th Asia Women`s Soccer Championship in 2001 during the match against China”, said Jin in Geumsugangsan. The magazine also added, “The everlasting attacker in the center field Jin hopes that all 11 teammates make `the 11 stars`, which are cherished by all people of the country.”

In, Byul-hee was awarded the title of People`s Athlete along with Lee, Geum-suk, and Lee, Gyung-hee for the contribution to the victory of the team at the 14th Asia Women`s Soccer Championship in June this year.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com