“Golf Empress” Park In-bee, 35, is the de facto candidate to represent South Korea in next year’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission election process.
The Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) said on Thursday that it held its second senate meeting at the InterContinental Coex in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, and recommended Park as the Korean candidate to run in the election of new IOC athletes during next year’s Paris Olympics.
“Park In-bee unanimously received the highest score from the evaluation committee,” the NOC said.
Park will be confirmed as the South Korean candidate for the IOC Athletes’ Commission on Nov. 16-17.
The IOC, which is often referred to as the “United Nations of sports,” only allows athletes who have competed in the previous Olympic Games or who will be competing in the Olympic Games when the election is held to run for the position. They have all the same rights and responsibilities as other IOC members, and can serve as a bridge between athletes and the IOC and contribute to sports diplomacy.
Four new Athletes’ Commissioners will be elected by athletes during next year’s Paris Olympics, and five South Korean candidates competed for one of those spots in a closed-door interview with the Korean Sports Federation’s Evaluation Commission on March 10.
Park In-bee, Jin Jong-oh (shooting), Kim Yeon-kyung (volleyball), Lee Dae-hoon (taekwondo) and Kim So-young (badminton) reportedly came out on top. Initially, archer Oh Jin-hyuk had expressed interest in the position, but he was unable to attend the interview because he was participating in training for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The candidates were evaluated on their athletic achievements, including Olympic results, and their ability to work internationally, including speaking foreign languages.
Park, who has 21 wins on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour and ranks fourth on the all-time money list ($18.26 million), is one of the sport’s top stars who has achieved the “career grand slam” of winning all four majors and is a member of the Hall of Fame.
She also completed the first-ever “golden slam” at Rio de Janeiro 2016, when women’s golf was reinstated as an Olympic sport after a 116-year absence.
Having lived abroad since childhood, his English is one of the best among the candidates, which is likely why he was so highly regarded. To become an Athletes’ Commissioner, candidates must be fluent in one of the IOC’s official languages, English and French.
Park, whose calm and quiet demeanor has earned him the nickname “The Silent Assassin,” stood out during the interview process by being proactive about his desire to become an IOC Athlete Commissioner.
“I competed in the Rio Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 because I dreamed of becoming an Athletes’ Commissioner,” she told reporters on the day of the interview. I won a gold medal in Rio with the Olympic spirit, and now I want to share that spirit with the world and play a leading role in the ‘Olympic Movement’,” he said.
“Golf is a very popular sport. If you ask people, ‘What sports have you played recently,’ they will tell you,” he said. “I think it’s a great advantage to have a popular sport. Even at the Tokyo Olympics, NBA player Pau Gasol was voted number one by the athletes,” he said.
“I’ve been studying quietly, hard, and investing a lot of time,” he emphasized, adding, “I heard that current Athletes’ Commissioner Yoo Seung-min walked 450 kilometers and lost 6 kilograms during the election, so I will aim to walk 500 kilometers and lose 10 kilograms.”
Once the Athletes’ Commission votes, the Korean Olympic Committee will notify the IOC of Park’s candidacy later this month.
There have been two previous IOC athletes from South Korea.
Athens 2004 taekwondo gold medalist Moon Dae-sung was first elected during the Beijing 2008 Games, while Yoo Seung-min, 먹튀검증 a gold medalist in men’s singles table tennis at the Athens Olympics, was elected during the Rio 2016 Games and will soon complete his eight-year term.