“It is my goal and dream to increase the number of skiers by even one more person.”
Park Jae-hyeok (60), president of the Korea Ski Instructors Association (KSIA), said, “Life on a single road” in skiing for 50 years. His dream was simple, but its weight was heavy.
Chairman Park, whom I met at the Yongpyong Resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province on the 7th, was very busy. It was because the 29th ski level 2 first test was held. Chairman Park judged a total of 500 participants, including 250 on the 6th and 250 on the 7th. Here, he was taking advantage of splitting his time because he had to attend mid-term meetings. President Park never let go of skis even when 24 hours were short. He laughed, saying, “I’ve been skiing for 50 years. I still enjoy it every time I ride. I will ski for the rest of my life.”
▶The ‘live’ history of Korea’s skiing
Chairman Park, born in 1963, made a connection with skiing in the third grade of elementary school. This year marks the 50th anniversary of my ski life. He said, “At that time, I had to sell a cow to buy a set of skis. I was born and lived in this neighborhood, but skiing was not easily accessible. My father and older brother skied. I became an athlete. Actually, at home, I was told not to be a skier. My teacher led me to ski. Thanks to that, I was able to come this far.”
It has never been an easy road. He said, “There was no ski resort in the past. I just hit the snow on the mountain. I walked up to a height where I could ski for 30 to 40 minutes. Then I came down in one minute. Still, I spent 3 to 4 times like that. I only spent about a year. When I was in the 6th grade of elementary school, I was able to enjoy the facilities as Yongpyeong Ski Resort was built.”
The reason I didn’t let go of my skis even in difficult situations was because it was fun. There was no one to stop it as the effort added to the interest. Park became the first Korean athlete to win a silver medal in the slalom event at the 1986 Sapporo Asian Winter Games. In the giant slalom, he won a bronze medal. It was the ‘first’ medal in an international competition in the history of Korean skiing. Chairman Park made a mark in Korean skiing. He said, “(In my skiing life), winning a medal at the Sapporo Asian Winter Games is the most memorable. I won a medal around my neck beating foreign players. I am also grateful that it is my first medal in an international competition.”
▶From the national team coach to the president of the Leaders Federation, ‘Only’ Ski
President Park continues to contribute to the development of skiing in Korea even after retiring as an athlete. He turned into a leader and served as the coach of the Korean ski team. Since then, he has been the executive director of the Korea Ski Association and has been leading the Leaders Federation since 2018. During the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, he led event management experts on site and firmly guarded the event. There was no place that had not passed through his hands, from safety facilities to race courses and orthodoxy. Thanks to this, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics were evaluated as world-class by the International Ski Federation and the International Olympic Committee.
He said, “After the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the number of skiers increased, but now it has decreased significantly. It seems that many people do not come to the ski resorts because they can go abroad now that the COVID-19 social distancing has been lifted. Three ski resorts in the metropolitan area are also closed. closed,” he said.
Elite growth is also not clear. Chairman Park said, “Korea’s alpine skiing is doing very well. Although we are only one-tenth of the Japanese athlete base, we beat the Japanese athletes. Even in a situation where the ski population is not large, our elite athletes are doing well. But ski jumping, Nordic In fact, it is difficult to raise elites such as Nordic combined in Korea. You have to train in a place with facilities. In foreign countries, the basic course is 3000m above sea level. C. The conditions themselves are not comparable to ours. Europe starts with summer skiing. There are various ski courses. Snowboard, 메이저사이트
In fact, Choi Ga-on (15, Sehwa Girls’ Middle School), the ‘future of Korean snowboarding’, recently recorded the youngest victory ever at the extreme sports event X Game Super Pipe. Lee Chae-woon (17, Surigo) is also repeating high scores in international competitions. President Park emphasized, “We need to invest intensively. Skiing advanced countries such as Europe see talent and invest and nurture it from a young age. We need to train well systematically. ‘Genius’ doesn’t mean you can just sit still.”
▶ A single life of 50 years, a dream and a goal to expand the skiing population
Chairman Park is interested in expanding the skiing population in addition to fostering elite athletes. He said, “The number of ‘ordinary skiers’ is decreasing. Ordinary people also think that skiing is dangerous. Just like learning to drive, it is absolutely not a dangerous sport if you learn it properly. It adjusts the balance of the whole body. It is an exercise that relieves stress. In the past, there were youth ski camps and a ski credit system at universities. We need to make skiing accessible to many people again.”
“I go up to the top by lift to ski. When I go up to a high place, I feel humbled by the thought that I have to go down again. I’ve been skiing for 50 years, but I will continue to ski for the rest of my life. I want to increase the number of skiers by one more person.” I want to do my best to become a sport. My dream is for all skiers and skiers to be happy,” he laughed.