UPDATE : 2020.10.5 Mon 09:33
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Canoe, Our Challenge, Our Achievement- Interview with Kim Gil-woo(09), Department of Physical Education

Q. When did you start canoeing?

A. I became interested in canoeing in the first grade of middle school. There was Canoe Club, so I started canoeing and I have been addicted since then. It was challenging at first but I gradually gained confidence in canoeing. In other words, canoeing was right for me. Finally I decided I would canoe continuously. My parents opposed my decision at first, but respected me later because I had a firm will. Maybe they worried that the sports world is a keen competitive society. Although I understand their apprehensions, I have pushed forward by acting according to my belief.

Q. How do you get training?

A. My part is Kayak. Canoe has several different events, and I have focused on only one part, Kayak. When I need to practice my main discipline in water, I stay in the Nakdong River in Gimhae. Every athlete must meet an exercising quota of 6 hours per day in the water – interval training, long distance training, and technical training. Usually, we have water training in the morning, weight training and running program in the afternoon, and supplementary training at night. Our coach oversees all of the drills, but our supplementary practicing time is extremely personal. We raise our playing level more and more through these steps.

Q. Do you have any difficulties?

A. Training is very strenuous and difficult. While we are under interval training, we often think maybe we are going to die. Since we must overcome limits, we have no choice but to endure those moments. All training steps give us severe physical pain. Yet more unbearable pain is about the mind.

People who exercise as a job tend to go into a slump. In my case, when I fall into the slump, I just let myself do the intensive training. I never have a doubt about my ability. A steady attitude and unshakable mind are helpful. The important thing is not avoiding the slump, but getting out of the slump.

Our team has 10 members. As I am the captain of our team, I always have to keep in mind our members’ condition and capability as well as my own ability. Above all things, the best thing for winning the overall championship is teamwork. Kayak needs the power and coordination of all team members. In the recent championship, our team showed superb unity and competence. As the competition progressed, I could feel that morale among our squad was very high. That was a really good sign. The result was great, and I was so proud of our team.

Q. What is your goal?

A. As you know, almost every athlete including myself has the same goal of being a member of the national team and winning a medal.

First, I have another race in July. After getting enough rest, I am going to undergo training immediately. Also, there is the Asian Games in 2014. I have trained with the national team once, and I will be selected as a national team member again at an upcoming competition this September. I want to follow my wonderful seniors and activate as a contributing member of the national team. And I believe I could do this.

Jo Youngin-in  youngwon13@naver.com

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