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‘Grandson of the Wind’ vows to win gold in Tokyo Olympics

‘Grandson of the Wind’ vows to win gold in Tokyo Olympics

Posted January. 01, 2021 07:51,   

Updated January. 01, 2021 07:51


The year of 2021 will be a back-to-back Olympic year as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed to July this year owing to the spread of COVID-19. “Olympic gold medals have been elusive even for my father, who has always been my hero. We waited for this opportunity for 13 years to compete in the Olympics, and I want to pay back the defeat we suffered during the WBSC Premier 12 in 2019 against Japan,” said Lee Jung-hoo, the outfielder of the Kiwoom Heroes. He is dubbed “the Grandson of the Wind,” a reference to his father Lee Jong-bum or the “Son of the Wind,” who is a baseball legend of South Korea.

It was during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games that Lee Jung-hoo first dreamed of becoming a baseball player when Team Korea swept all games to win the gold medals. Many young athletes of his age jumped on the wagon to become professional baseball players in the year.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, however, baseball games disappeared from the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016 before coming back to the stage in 2021 as official discipline. “Not every professional athlete can make the national team. It is my goal to show great performance on the global stage with our national flag on the chest,” proclaimed Lee Jung-hoo as if he was destined to compete in the Olympics.

Lee also expressed his hope to play a role model for younger players. “If Korea performs well in the Olympics, more people will be interested in baseball, and many more talented athletes will choose a bat and a glove over other sports. That will help further advance Korean baseball,” Lee said. “I was under a great influence of my seniors as a kid, and now I want to play the same role for the next generation.”

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com