[National Sports Festival] ‘67-year-old Grandmother’ Lee Tae-bun Competes in the 100m Freestyle, “Don’t Stop Challenging Yourself”

Despite the recommendation to start from the bottom of the starting line, ‘competition equally’… “My pride didn’t allow me”

“I tried to give up because I was afraid I would be laughed at… but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.”

The 104th National Sports Festival, the largest sports competition in Korea, is attended by many athletes with stories as diverse as its size.

Among the 29,900 participants from 17 cities and provinces across the country and 18 countries and overseas Korean sports organizations, there are athletes as young as their teens and grandmothers and grandfathers well past their 60th birthday. https://www.totosafeguide.com

Lee Tae-bun (Japan), who competed in the women's 100m freestyle swimming event held at the Mokpo Indoor Swimming Pool in Jeollanam-do on the 18th, is also an athlete who catches the eye.

Mr. Lee was born in June 1956 and is 67 years old.

He is nine years older than the athlete and coach, as well as the head of the Korea Swimming Federation, Chairman Chang-Hoon Jeong.

Mr. Lee proudly succeeded in ‘finishing’ the second group of the 100m freestyle preliminary round held this morning with a time of 2 minutes 14.28 seconds.

She touched the touch pad more than a minute later than Choi Ji-won (Gyeongbuk Provincial Office, 57.85 seconds), who took first place in the same group, and continued to ‘swim alone’ for a long time even after 7th place Kim So-yeon (Jeju City Hall, 1 minute, 1.26 seconds) came in.

But no one could laugh at his challenge.

An official from the Korea Swimming Federation said, “The audience all gave a standing ovation.”

The federation also delivered a commemorative gift to Mr. Lee after completing the ‘meaningful challenge.’

After the game, Lee said through the federation, "I would like to praise myself for competing alongside top athletes of my grandson's age," and added, "I am grateful to the Korea Sports Council and the Korea Swimming Federation for giving me the opportunity."

He also introduced his training process, saying, "I wanted to take on a new challenge, so I swam 2,000 meters every day without stopping."

Mr. Lee is an executive director of the Overseas Korean Foundation of the Korean Association of Europe and is serving as a member of the 21st advisory committee of the Advisory Council for Democratic and Peaceful Unification.

He qualified to participate in the National Sports Festival, where elite athletes compete, as an overseas Korean athlete.

Regarding the reason why he started swimming, Mr. Lee explained, "I learned it for rehabilitation purposes because my back, elbows, and shoulders were sore.

The hospital recommended surgery, but I managed the pain by swimming."

He went on to explain the appeal of the exercise by saying, "When I swim, I don't have to be bothered by anyone."

He said, "When I first came to the stadium, I wanted to give up competing because I was afraid I would be laughed at.

Even though it was embarrassing, I participated thinking that it was an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best players." https://www.foodntours.com/blog/573749

On this day, Mr. Lee received a recommendation from the competition referee that he could start the race below the starting table.

However, he climbed onto the starting platform just like the other athletes and threw himself onto the water.

He said, “My pride didn’t allow it.”

Lee's record of 2 minutes, 14.28 seconds was recognized as an official record, and will forever remain in the National Sports Festival record book.

Mr. Lee gave his final thoughts, saying, “I hope everyone lives a life where they never stop taking on challenges.”

Meanwhile, coach Choi Yeon-sook (64), who set Korean records 32 times in the 1970s, accompanied Lee Tae-bun as his dedicated coach and helped.

Coach Choi introduced, “Our players’ strengths are endurance and fighting spirit.”
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