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Nation’s first twice Olympic gold medallist

Kim Il is one of meritorious athletes who grew up to be a wrestler in the embrace of Chairman Kim Jong Il and exalted the honour of Juche Korea in many international tournaments.

He was known to have a good brain in his childhood and possessed full sporting capacity as a reserve wrestler. He won the wrestling event of the national sports games of juvenile extracurricular sports schools (at the time) two years after he began to receive training.

Later, he started his playing career at the Amnokgang Sports Club and made a brilliant figure as a wrestling star in many domestic and international events under the loving care of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

In particular, he came first by overpowering all his opponents at the world youth freestyle wrestling championships in July Juche 80(1991) and in the 48 kg category of the Asian freestyle wrestling championships held in Iran in April Juche 81(1992).

His next target was the Olympic gold medal.

He thought that it was the greatest gift to be presented to the motherland which brought him up and put him forward to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, and trained hard. As a result, he won the 48 kg category of freestyle wrestling at the 25th Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain, in July Juche 81(1992), and earned his first Olympic gold medal.

Chairman Kim Jong Il praised him highly for demonstrating the dignity and honour of Juche Korea in the 25th Olympic Games and showed love for him, which would be handed down through generations.

He also ensured that gold medallists in the 25th Olympic Games were honoured to meet President Kim Il Sung on December 31 Juche 81(1992).

Without resting on his laurels, Kim Il trained harder and achieved phenomenal success of becoming a three-time Asian freestyle wrestling champion by winning at various international events including the Gobi Prize Asian freestyle wrestling championships in Mongolia in Juche 82(1993).

Not content with it, he set an ambitious goal to win the second Olympic gold medal.

He was awarded a gold medal again in the 26th Olympic Games held in Atlanta, the United States, in July Juche 85(1996), thereby hoisting the DPRK flag on the American soil and fully displaying the dignity and honour of Juche Korea once again.

He is now leading a worthwhile life in the spirit and enthusiasm he had displayed in the prime of youth to repay the loving care of the Party that put him, the son of an ordinary worker, forward as Labour Hero and People’s Athlete, invited him to national events including the Seventh National Conference of Sportspersons and presented him with gifts to be handed down through generations.

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2024.7.2.
People’s Athlete Kim Kyong Hwa

Born to an ordinary office worker’s family in Sinpho City, Kim Kyong Hwa learned to play football at Sinpho City Juvenile Extracurricular Sports School.

Kim, who loved football very much, trained hard to cut a brilliant figure from the period of the sports school.

She made her international debut in the 2003 Summer Universiad.

In the first match with Germany, she scored a spectacular goal with a long-distance shot. Also in the next round matches she drew the attention of spectators with fast and correct pass for goal and stunning long-distance shots, contributing to the DPRK team’s winning the women’s football.

While active as a player at the then April 25 Sports Club, she displayed her high ability in different national and international football events to earn the title of Merited Athlete.

Later, she was selected to play in the national junior women’s football team and made a positive contribution to the team’s winning the Third Asian Junior Women’s Football Championships and the world junior women’s football championships.

Thanks to the love and favour shown by the Workers’ Party of Korea, she was awarded the title of Labour Hero and People’s Athlete. She also took part in the 15th Asian Games as a player of the national football team and made a contribution to the team’s winning supremacy again in Asian women’s football with long-distance shots and creation of clear scoring chances.

She contributed to the DPRK team’s win in different international events, including the then fourth world general military games and the 16th Asian Women’s Football Championships. And she played a decisive role in the DPRK team’s advance to the quarterfinals by scoring important goals in the matches against the US and Nigerian teams at the Fifth World Women’s Football Championships.

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2024.6.4.
Benevolent system and four gold medals

Ho Yong Ju, chief coach of the Nampho City Taekwon-Do Team, was among the DPRK players who took the first place in the country rankings and stood on the winner’s rostrum at the 22nd Taekwon-Do World Championships held last year.

She took part in a veteran category event of the championships at the age of 49 and won four gold medals.

She had got very nervous at the news that she would take part in the championships as she had finished her playing career a long time ago.

A daughter of an ordinary worker, Ho became a Taekwon-Do player, chief coach and Merited Athlete under the benevolent care of the country which found out her talents in her childhood and called her to different national events. Therefore, she trained hard, out of the fervent desire to repay the loving care and trust of the country with gold medals.

Her high aspiration and painstaking efforts resulted in the success of collecting four golds at the championships.

The country highly appreciated the achievements of this ordinary and simple woman, one of many mothers of the country, and the motherly Workers’ Party invited her to the Fifth National Conference of Mothers.

Her four gold medals reflect her patriotic intention to repay the affection and trust of the country with greater success.

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2024.4.10.
Merited Athlete Ji Yun Nam

Born into an ordinary army officer’s family in Ichon County of Kangwon Province, Ji Yun Nam began to learn how to play football at the middle school course of the then Sariwon Sports School.

After finishing the school, he was picked out as a football player of the April 25 Team in 1999.

Being active as the midfielder, he fully displayed his capacity as a good scorer at national soccer events.

He made his international debut at the Third Military World Games held in 2003. He contributed to the DPRK team’s winning the football event of the Games, to be selected as a player of the team DPRK in 2004.

He also made a great contribution to the national team’s qualifying for the World Cup finals 44 years after the Eighth World Cup and played in the group league matches of the 19th World Cup finals.

Later, he took part in several international football events as a winger.

In those years he was awarded the title of Merited Athlete under the loving care of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

  After finishing his playing career, Ji became a football coach of the April 25 Team and contributed to the DPRK team’s coming third in the 2015 EAFF Men’s East Asia Cup.

He began to work as head coach of the women’s football team in 2017 and coached the April 25 team to successes in several annual national events till April 2019. He was selected as one of the top 10 football coaches of the DPRK in 2019.

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2024.4.6.
Jang Kyong Ok, Taekwon-Do sparring queen

Jang Kyong Ok, who is a winner of Kim Il Sung Youth Honour Prize, Labour Hero and People’s Athlete of the DPRK, won 21 gold medals and three individual technical prize cups at five Taekwon-Do world championships during her playing career and the cup for best referee at the Tenth World Junior and the Fifth World Veteran Taekwon-Do Championships.

Jang, born as second daughter of an ordinary office worker in Kosong County, Kangwon Province, began to learn Taekwon-Do just before finishing her middle school.

She trained so diligently that she solved the problem of flexibility, which used to be a major hindrance to her, in no more than half a year and prepared herself for various events of Taekwon-Do like pattern, sparring and power breaking.

At the Seventh Taekwon-Do World Championships held in Canada in August 1990, she made contributions to the DPRK team’s triumph in the women’s group pattern, sparring and power breaking events and won the second place in individual sparring.

Later, in September 1992, she snatched eight golds at the Eighth Taekwon-Do World Championships held in the DPRK and continued to win 13 golds and three individual technical prize cups at the 9th, 10th and 11th Taekwon-Do world championships.

Whenever she came back after demonstrating the dignity and honour of the country at world championships, the Workers’ Party of Korea put her forward on the platform of glory to make her known to the whole country.

Jang devoted all her wisdom and enthusiasm to returning the love and trust of Chairman Kim Jong Il who brought up and led the girl from a seaside village in Kosong County to become a winner of Kim Il Sung Youth Honour Prize, Labour Hero and People’s Athlete.

In her coaching career, she made a big contribution to adding lustre to the DPRK with gold medals at different international games like Taekwon-Do world championships by training lots of world-class Taekwon-Do players.

Now that Jang works as an official thanks to the Party’s great trust in her, she is determined to continue to follow the path of loyalty to the WPK and of devotion to the development of Taekwon-Do techniques with the passion and spirit of her youth.

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2024.3.10.
Coach trains many boxing aces

People’s Athlete Ri Kwi Jung trained many boxing players of the national team, including People’s Athletes Ri Jong Hyang, Yun Kum Ju and Kim Kwang Ok and Merited Athletes Choe Un Sun and Kim Kum Son, and coached the women boxers to successes in different international events to bring honour to Juche Korea.

Ri Kwi Jung began to learn boxing at the then sports club in Hoesang district and enrolled at Korea University of Physical Education to cultivate his talent.

Later, he worked as a coach at the then South Hamgyong provincial sports club and the sports club of the Hamhung Railway Bureau and became a women’s boxing coach from the mid-1990s.

At that time, he selected such talented players as Ri Jong Hyang, Yun Kum Ju and Kim Kwang Ok who made a name for themselves in the Asian and world women’s boxing later.

He made a great contribution to Ri Jong Hyang’s earning the first gold medal in the 48kg category of the First Asian Women’s Boxing Championships and Yun Kum Ju’s and Kim Kwang Ok’s winning the titles in the 57kg and 52kg divisions respectively at the Second Asian Women’s Boxing Championships.

He redoubled efforts to lead Ri Jong Hyang and Yun Kum Ju to become a three-time Asian champion and a two-time world champion respectively so that they could return the love and trust of the country with notable success at international events.

Under his coaching Kim Kum Son could win the First Asian Women’s Boxing Championships and finish runner-up at the Second World Women’s Boxing Championships, to be awarded the title of Merited Athlete.

In those years, Ri Kwi Jung was awarded a wrist watch bearing the name of President Kim Il Sung and the titles of Merited Athlete and People’s Athlete. He was also honoured to participate in the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea and have a photo taken with Chairman Kim Jong Il.

He was a meritorious coach who devoted his whole life to developing boxing techniques.

Though he passed away, he lives in history of the country and the minds of its people and the players he trained for his achievements associated with the development of the boxing techniques of the country and his devotion to training the players.

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2024.2.20.
Admirable career as footballer


Labour Hero and People’s Athlete Jong Pok Sim was born into an ordinary family in Pyongyang and cultivated her extraordinary skills as footballer at the then Taesong District Juvenile Sports School.

She was tall and good in physical preparedness in her childhood and thus she soon distinguished herself in national competitions. She played a leading role in several international competitions as a member of the national junior women’s football team at the age of 15 and of the National Women's Football Team at the age of 17.

She made her international debut at the first Asian junior women’s football championships held in Juche 91 (2002). 

She enriched her competing experience at the championships and scored ten goals at the second championships in Juche 93 (2004), winning a top scorer trophy.

The Third World Junior Women’s Football Championships held in September Juche 95 (2006) was an unforgettable one for her.

She displayed high collective spirit and physical, technical and tactical abilities she had acquired in ordinary days, thus greatly helping her team win the competition.

After receiving a wristwatch bearing the august name of President Kim Il Sung and the titles of Labour Hero and People’s Athlete thanks to the warm love and benevolence of the motherly Workers’ Party of Korea, she redoubled her efforts in training and matches with the determination to repay the favour.

At the 15th Asian Games held in November Juche 95 (2006), she also contributed to consolidating the position of the DPRK women’s football team as Asian champion and clearly showing off the advancement of Korean women’s soccer towards the world.

Afterwards, she helped the team win at the then Fourth Military World Games held in Juche 96 (2007) and exalt the honour of Juche Korea in other international games by fully displaying the strong spiritual strength of Korean women footballers.

She participated in the Seventh National Conference of Sportspersons and the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army to have the honour of posing for a photo with the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un.

With a burning desire to return the love and benevolence of the motherland which brought her up and put her forward, she is now dedicating her patriotic zeal and wisdom to the training of reserve players.

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2024.1.26.
Kim Chol Hwan, Labour Hero and People’s Athlete

Kim Chol Hwan, a wrestler who grew up under the care of the Workers’ Party of Korea, was a famous sportsman who became the first twice world wrestling champion of the DPRK by winning the first place in the 48kg category events of the 22nd and 23rd World Freestyle Wrestling Championships.

The country highly appreciated his successes and feats in the international arena and put him forward as the first Labour Hero of the sports circle of the DPRK together with the world table-tennis queen Pak Yong Sun.

Kim started wrestling at Songyo District Extracurricular Juvenile Sports School in his teens and took the first place in the 36kg freestyle wrestling event of the Asian juvenile wrestling championship held in Iraq in October Juche 66(1977).

Later, he took the first place at international games held in August Juche 70(1981) and March the following year, fully demonstrating his physical and technical abilities.

Though he had some failures and frustrations in his playing career, Kim braced himself up with confidence in victory and high ambition and lifted the trophy at the 22nd World Freestyle Wrestling Championships. Thus, he became the first world wrestling champion in the country.

He won the 48kg category title at the 23rd World Freestyle Wrestling Championships again and brought great pleasure to the country.

In Juche 74(1985), he was awarded the title of Labour Hero, the highest honour for DPRK citizens.

Kim Chol Hwan, who lived a life of loyalty and patriotism, was buried in the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery.

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2023.12.27.
People’s Athlete Pak Man Il

Born into an ordinary office worker’s family in Pyongyang, Pak Man Il was very fond of sports in his primary school days. When he was 11, he joined the table-tennis group of the Pyongyang Students and Children’s Palace to develop his talent.

At that time, during a visit to the palace, President Kim Il Sung saw a table-tennis match between Pak and another member of the group. Then he made up his mind to grow into an excellent table-tennis player to give pleasure to the President.

After distinguishing himself in juvenile competitions at home, he began to act as a table-tennis player of the Amnokgang Sports Club. He got 28 medals, including five golds and eight silvers, in different national games including the national championships held in Juche 70(1981).

It was in Juche 79(1990) that Pak began to work as a table-tennis coach of the sports club. He has since devoted his all to training talented table-tennis players glorifying the country for over 30 years.

He led table-tennis player Kim Hyang Mi to add glory to the country in different international competitions including the 14th Asian Games and ITTF world table-tennis championships and helped her take the second place in the women’s table-tennis singles of the 28th Olympic Games.

In those days, he was awarded the title of People’s Athlete thanks to the care and trust shown by the Workers’ Party of Korea and after becoming the table-tennis head coach of the sports club, he devoted all his wisdom and enthusiasm to training more excellent players for the national team as soon as possible.

From Juche 103(2014) the women’s table-tennis team of the sports club got a status as the top team, holding the championship in the 13th People’s Games and other domestic games in the female table-tennis event. Kim Song I