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When he woke up, his body wasn’t the same.
His left leg felt empty.
He called his father and cried without words.
He felt sorry for his parents.
He had started working as a courier with his cousin for financial reasons after his military service.
He had plans to return to canoeing, but the accident shattered them.
Choi Yong-beom (27, Chungnam Paralympic Committee) cried and cried in a corner alone at night.
He has loved water since he was a child.
Baekma River and Bansan Reservoir were nearby.
He played soccer and wrestling, but he started canoeing because he liked the water.
He picked up a paddle in the first grade. She paddled really hard because she “didn’t want to lose.”
She was called the next Cho Kwang-hee.
Cho Kwang-hee is the first Korean canoeist to win back-to-back Asian Games titles (Incheon 2014 and Palembang 2018 in Jakarta).
He is also two years older than Buhago.
After high school, he was briefly part of the Buyeo County government before moving to the Ulsan Metropolitan City government.
He tried out for the national team, but missed the Taeguk mark by a narrow margin (4th place).
He was unable to perform due to back pain and enlisted in the army in November 2018.
He was discharged from the army in July 2020 and was making money and building his body when he had a bad accident.
During his rehabilitation, coach Joo Jong-kwan, who was a gifted canoeist, and manager Meng Chan-joo of the Korea Paralympic Committee recommended para-canoeing.
At first, he was scared to meet unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar form.
However, canoeing was the thing he was best at and enjoyed the most in his life.
His mother also encouraged him. She hoped that on the water, her son would feel rejuvenated.
Para-canoeing was first recognized as a sport at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and the Korean Paralympic Committee began developing para-canoe athletes in 2017.
He picked up his paddle again. Para canoeing is both the same and different from able-bodied canoeing.
His prosthetic left leg was heavier, making it harder to balance.
This was despite having been kayaking for nearly 10 years. “
At first, I fell into the water because it was difficult to balance the boat,” Choi said, adding, “I actually panicked myself.
I wondered if I could swim (with a prosthetic leg), but I could.”
“When kids first learn to canoe, I tell them they need to fall in the water 10,000 times a year,” said Choi’s coach, Joo Jong-kwan, who is reteaching him as a Para-athlete coach.
It takes three months to learn to balance on the water.”
His first opponent in the Para-canoe 200-meter sprint race was Buh Joo-joong.
At first, he lost.
He was a junior high school student, a former member of the unemployment team, and his pride was hurt.
The competitive spirit that seemed to have flown away with the accident came back.
He kept improving his time.
His first time was in the 50s, then 47 seconds, then 46 seconds.
Buyeojo High School canoe juniors are happy to be the pace-setters, encouraging their senior para-canoeing counterparts. 카지노사이트가이드
Their most recent opponent was Buyeo High sophomore canoe ace Seol Dong-woo.
They met in October, and after taking the lead, he was overtaken with 3 meters to go and lost by two palms. “
He started para-canoeing in July,” said coach Joo Jong-kwan, “and he set his goals in stages,” he said, “first aiming for 45 seconds, which he achieved in a month.
This year, he aimed for 42 seconds and came within 40 seconds,” he said, praising Choi’s grit.
Choi comfortably took first place at the National Para Games in November.
It was his first time competing at the national level in five years, having qualified for the national championships in October 2018.
Due to time constraints, he did not participate in the Hangzhou Para Asian Games. “
If he had competed in Hangzhou, he would have won a medal,” said Meng Chan-ju, his manager.
Choi has his sights set on next May’s Games in Szeged, Hungary.
A quota for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games is at stake. No Korean para canoeist has ever qualified for the Paralympic Games.
“First of all, I weigh 100 kilograms, but I need to lose more than 10 kilograms through weight training and cardio during the winter.
Only then will I have more speed,” he said. Coach Zhu said, “Yongbeom is now only one second away from the world record.
On the world stage, 0.1 seconds can make the difference, so he needs to manage his weight.”
For now, of course, he has to beat fellow Para canoeist and high school junior Seol Dong-woo.
“At first, I was afraid to come out, but once I did, it was no big deal,” says Choi. “
My friends and seniors treated me the same as before.
There were times when I felt burdened by the stares around me, but now I don’t feel any different.”
Her family also supports her.
His father sneaks out to the Bansan Reservoir to take pictures of his training.
He goes freshwater fishing with a close junior every weekend when he’s not training.
Maybe what he catches is hope for the future, because one of the two pentagrams tattooed behind each of his ears is still clearly visible.