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Chairwoman Park Geun-hye Visits Taereung Training Center

Chairwoman Park Geun-hye Visits Taereung Training Center

Posted August. 06, 2005 06:18,   


“I can give up on anything but the right to train as much as we want,” said Lee Elisa, head of the Taeneung Training Center.

“What other than sports gives so much courage and strength to the people? I will do my best to allow the athlete to train without any concerns,” said Park Geun-hye, the Grand National Party chairwoman.

Grand National Party chairwoman Park Geun-hye, a symbol of female power in Korea, met Lee Elisa, the first woman to become head of the Taeneung Training Center in the center’s 60-year history when she rose to the position in April. Chairwoman Park had visited the Taeneung Training Center on August 5 with representatives from her party associated with the Culture and Tourism Committee.

This was the first guest visit since Lee’s comment that “the center may have to close down for two months in the winter due to a lack of money,” and the main topic of conversation was of course on the difficult situation that the center is facing.

Chairwoman Park, who was born in 1952, and Lee, who is two years younger, have known each other for 30 years. They first became acquainted with each other when Park opened a game at the “Lady Yook Young-soo Cup Table Tennis Championship” in 1974, a time when Park was acting as First Lady after the assassination of Lady Yook Young-soo.

Park and Lee walked together for about an hour, visiting weight lifting, gymnastics, Taekwondo, hockey, wrestling, and badminton gyms to encourage the athletes, and later dined together at the cafeteria.

Lee said, “These two are really urgent issues,” and suggested, “The Taeneung Training Center budget for athlete’s training this year is 9.8 billion won, less than the budget of a single popular professional sports team. With this amount, we can train for only 105 days. Help us to increase our training days to 180 days a year. Also, the Taebaek Annex has only an athletic track, but it would be nice if there was an indoor stadium.”

To this Park answered, “We will devise some measures, such as revising the National Sports Promotion Law to give taxation benefits to companies that found sports teams in a non-popular sports category.”