Go to contents

Lee Jeong-min wins silver in rowing at Asian Para Games

Posted October. 25, 2014 05:29,   


Lee Jeong-min, 30, a member of the national rowing team for the handicapped, is good looking and physically fit due to intense physical exercise. After graduating from Michigan State University in the U.S., he worked with a U.K.-based financial company in Korea, which illustrates his vocational competence. On top of this, he won a silver medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games, a feat that has further elevated his talent and stature. It was not a surprise that he was one of the six flag bearers who brought in the Korean flag Taegeukgi to the Munhak Stadium in Incheon at the event’s closing ceremony on Thursday.

Having suffered Gillaeng barré syndrome, a rare disease, at age 10, Lee once had general paralysis, but has currently no significant physical handicap other than weak muscles below his knees. He came to know rowing three years ago. Watching a special footage on rowing on a TV show, he thoughtlessly went to Misari Rowing Course in Hanam, Gyeonggi Province. Lee said, “I was a fan of mixed martial art or UFC, but had never engaged in athletic sports until then. I thought to myself that rowing would fit me well because it would require only the upper body, but I had difficulties since it is a sport that requires strength of the legs.”

Lee even quit the job at the financial firm to concentrate on athletic sport. He is studying at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies and is seeking to develop a new career. Having taken leave of absence to participate in the Para Games, Lee said, “My goal is to become a person representing the disabled in sports diplomacy.”

At this year’s Asian Para Games, Korea ranked second overall by winning the largest number of medals ever, including 72 gold medals, 62 silver, and 77 bronze. The country thus recovered No. 2 spot for the first time in 12 years since the 2002 event in Busan. China ranked first (174 gold medals, 95 silver and 48 bronze), while Japan came third (38 gold medals, 49 silver, and 56 bronze). The next event will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia in four years.