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Korea National Sport University Prepares for Leap Forward

Korea National Sport University Prepares for Leap Forward

Posted May. 09, 2007 09:04,   

한국어

Korea National Sport University, the Mecca of Korean sport, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Despite its contributions to the promotion of Korea’s national image by winning 17 of the total of 54 gold medals Korea has won in the summer Olympic games since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the school has been marginalized and neglected.

The sports college was founded by the government in March of 1977 for the purpose of cultivating elite athletes after Yang Jeong-mo won a gold medal in wrestling in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Players from the school have won many gold medals in the summer Olympic games, including Jeon In-soo’s gold medal in archery in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In the winter Olympic games, the school has 4 of the total 11 gold medals won by Korea since the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. In the Asian Games, 147 of 437 gold medals won by Korea since the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games were won by players from the college.

According to Korea University economics professor Gwak Seung-joon’s research in 2004, an Olympic gold medal is worth more than 50 billion won. Calculated this way, the college’s contribution to the promotion of Korea’s national image is tremendous.

However, reality is not easy for Korea National Sport University. Private universities, which compete with national college for recruits, are asking, “We can replace the national sport university. Close the school.”

The government’s support has fallen. 7,600 won meal charges, a third of the total meal charges (24,500 won) for national team athletes in Taereung National Village, are subsidized for national sport university students. The charges are even less than those for Seoul Sports High School (8,500 won). A 20 million won training fee per sport is subsidized as well, but it is not enough for sports with more than 50 players.

With its 30th anniversary festival starting on May 9, Korea National Sport University has announced a plan for a new leap forward. The ceremony to unveil a facial relief of Olympic gold medalists from the school will be held on May 30.

The college needs the government’s support to regain its glory. Considering its contributions to Korea’s sports development, experts say, it deserves the government’s active investment.



yjongk@donga.com