Go to contents

A female singer goes to the Olympics

Posted February. 07, 2020 07:34,   

Updated February. 07, 2020 07:34


She sang all night long in her basement studio. An applied music major at university, ballad singer Ju-hyeong made a debut with her own album “Listen” in May 2016.

She is now Jung Ju-hyeong, a female boxer who represents South Korea. She has been selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning at flyweight at the selection organized by the Boxing Association of Korea on December 21. She is now 29, and her life has taken a dramatic turn.

Changing the course of life must have not been easy. “It was terrifying and difficult,” confessed Jung, adding that she is still scared of getting hit. Ironically, what drove her was the desperation that there is nothing else she can do. Being a professional boxer meant stable income, and this is why she started boxing. Last May, she sprained her right ankle while training. People say “boxing is all about steps,” which shows the importance of ankles in boxing. Despite a swollen sprained ankle, she came on top in the preliminary last November and won against strong competitors in the final in December.

As a national team member, Jung will be the first female Korean boxer who competes in the Olympic finals if she ranks in the top six at the regional qualifiers to be held in Jordan on March 3. Team Korea has never made it to the finals since 2012 when women’s boxing became an Olympic sport at the London Olympics. She may have almost accidentally started boxing but is about to begin a new chapter in history.

Her story is not entirely new, but it is a great reminder that a crisis does not necessarily lead to a tragedy. It shows what people can do when they understand and face the gravity of the challenge that is presented to them.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com