Equestrian Athlete Kim Hyeok Earns Two Medals at the Asian Games 2018
4 Years’ Worth The Wait
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Dressage is “the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance.” It is evaluated by criterions such as beauty and accuracy; the judge subjectively scores players on how beautifully and correctly they make of a particular movement. Kim Hyeok (Division of Sports & Well-Being, major in Sports in Life, 4th year) who put forth great effort to earn a silver medal in the team event, received a bronze medal in the individual game at the Asian Games 2018 Jakarta Palembang on 23rd of August, 2018. Whilst it was Kim’s first time competing in the Asian Games, the equestrian athlete proudly brought back two medals to represent Korea.
Kim started horseback riding when he was a first grade student in high school. His father encouraged him to try horseback riding as a hobby. Since horseback riding was the only sport involving an animal, it appealed to Kim who loved animals of all kind. The reason he chose dressage in particular, was because dressage requires more delicate movements to control the horse in the way he wants it to be. “Dressage is a sport that promotes growth of both the athlete and the horse. That’s what I like about this sport so much.”
The 2018 Asian Games was a special game for Kim since he waited 4 years to compete. When asked how he managed to persist in the 4 years of preparation and through the suspenseful competition, he said that he trained himself thinking that this was his last chance, and also by reminding himself that 4 years was too long of a time to give up or turn back.
Not everything was easy for Kim. While training for the Asian Games, the hardest part was Jakarta’s hot and humid weather throughout the training. He said it was tough adjusting to the hot air, both for the athletes and their horses. Although Kim is now taking time off from school, attending school and training at the same time was a very difficult job to get done, he says. Kim exercises in the mornings and trains at the Hwaseong horse riding course in the afternoon during school life.
Since it was Kim’s first time taking part in the Asian Game, he focused more on the team event than the individual game. “In the team event I was playing with seniors and I could depend on them, but during the individual game, I felt more nervous because I was truly alone in the competition.”
Kim’s next mountain to climb is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. Korea has won first place in dressage in six out of the seven Asian Games held in the past. The great potential and possibility that Kim and the other equestrian athletes have shown the people of Korea through the 2018 Asian Games has allowed spectators to look forward to further good news in this sport.
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
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