Koo Bon-gil will be the opening ceremony flag bearer for both the Olympics and AGs, marking the first time in 40 years.
Men’s fencing standout Koo Bon-gil (34, Korea National Sports Promotion Organization), who will go for the most gold medals ever won by a South Korean athlete at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kick off this month, has made history before the competition even begins.
Koo has been selected to join swimmer Kim Seo-young (Gyeongbuk Provincial Office) as the flag bearers for the Korean team at the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on June 23.
Notably, Koo also served as the opening ceremony flag bearer at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, giving him the honor of being the “face” of Korea at both the Asian Games and the Olympic Games.
It is even rarer for an athlete to be the opening ceremony flag bearer for both the Olympic and Asian Games, which are held every four years and are considered a “dream” for athletes.
Looking at the list of Korean flagbearers at the Summer Olympics and Asian Games over the past 40 years, starting with the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, where records are available, only handball legend Yun Kyung-shin (50), the current head coach of Doosan, has served as the flagbearer at both events. Koo Bon-gil is the second.
Yoon, who won five Asian Games gold medals as a player and competed in five Olympic Games before London 2012, carried the flag at both the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the opening ceremony of the London Olympics two years later.
Koo’s resume is equally impressive.
Since Guangzhou 2010, he has won three individual men’s sabre gold medals and two team golds (Incheon 2014, Jakarta-Palembang 2018) at the last three Asian Games.
In Hangzhou, he will be looking to win his fourth straight individual Asian Games title and his third consecutive ‘double’.
If he wins both the individual and team titles at the Games, he will have won seven gold medals in his career, surpassing the six held by senior fencer Nam Hyun-hee (retired) and setting a new record for the most gold medals won by a South Korean athlete at a Summer Asian Games.
His longevity and achievements with the national team, as well as his ability to make an iconic mark at the Games, are likely factors in his selection.
Koo is also an Olympic gold medalist, having helped South Korea win gold in the men’s sabre team event at London and Tokyo 2020.
“The Olympics and Asian Games are the most important events for an athlete, and it’s a great honor for me personally to be the flag bearer for my country,” said Koo. “I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’m especially happy to have the same record as the ‘legend’ Yoon Kyung-shin.”
“At the Rio Olympics, I felt a lot of pressure, but I was grateful and meaningful for the idea of ‘family honor,'” he recalled, “and now that I’ve been an Olympic flag bearer, 카지노사이트킴 I will fulfill my role and, most importantly, perform well.”