The most dazzling era in Korean women’s basketball can be said to be the 1984 LA Olympics held in Los Angeles, USA. The Korean national team defeated Canada, Yugoslavia, and Australia, which were considered superior, one after another. And then they met China (now China) in the semifinals. In terms of military power, Korea was no match for China. At the pre-Olympic Games held before the Olympics, Korea lost 37-72, almost a double score, to China, which is full of tall centers. 바카라사이트닷컴
But a miracle happened. The Korean defense took the lead by thoroughly blocking China’s attack. The shots thrown by Korean players passed the rim one after another. A complete victory of 69-56. The game wasn’t even over yet, but Korean national team coach Cho Seung-yeon was already shedding tears. It was a historic moment for the first Olympic medal in Korean basketball history.
The protagonist of the miraculous silver medal was women’s basketball legend Park Chan-sook (64), coach of Seodaemun-gu Office. In fact, Coach Park seriously considered her retirement before the Olympics. This is because he had surgery for a knee injury in 1983, a year before the Olympics. He did not perform well in the Olympic preliminaries, and Korea was unable to qualify on its own, finishing in sixth place in the preliminaries.
But heaven was preparing a Korean miracle in advance. Hungary and Cuba, the teams ranked 4th and 5th in the Olympic qualifiers, declared their absence, leaving Korea as the last team to advance to the Olympic finals. Coach Park also decided to return to the national team at the last minute. He said, “There were people around me who said, ‘I’m in last place anyway, so why go there?’ I came to my senses. All the players decided to give it a try. Actually, I was in great condition when I stood on the stage of the Olympic finals. “I feel like I showed 120% of my skills.”
Coach Park, who became the youngest national team member in his first year at Sungui Girls’ High School in 1975, wrote a new page in the history of Korean basketball in the 10th year since he wore the Taegeuk symbol.
Afterwards, his basketball career continued. Due to his marriage and childbirth, he retired in 1985, but moved to Taiwan in 1988 to play as a player and playing coach. When playing in Taiwan, he added the title ‘the first housewife player’. He returned to the domestic stage in 1992 and took off his uniform for the last time in 1994. Since then, he has continued his relationship with basketball by working as the coach of his home team Pacific, the national team coach, and the head of the game operation division and training division of the Korea Women’s Basketball League (WKBL).
Although he has been successful as a player, leader, and administrator, there is one dream that he has not achieved. He is a professional team manager.
He contested the director’s open recruitment several times. However, I failed the document screening every time. He once advanced to the final interview, but the club owner chose a male coach who graduated from the same school. He also submitted a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission, but to no avail. He said, “Not long ago, there seemed to be a perception of ‘how dare a woman~’. “I had to fight not only for myself but also for my female juniors,” she said.
Perhaps thanks to such efforts, the number of female leaders in WKBL has been increasing recently. Director Lee Ok-ja first took over as director of KDB Life Insurance in 2012, and director Yoo Young-joo took the helm of BNK Some in 2019. Starting in 2021, Director Park Jeong-eun is leading BNK Some. At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Woori Bank coach Jeon Joo-won took on the role of coach of the first women’s basketball Olympic team.
And Coach Park also returned to the court this year. He was appointed as the founding director of the Seodaemun-gu Office, an unemployment basketball team founded in March.
Since its first year of establishment, Seodaemun-gu Office has been revitalizing the stagnant Korean women’s basketball. After their first win at the National Championships, they defeated the Seoul Basketball Association 95-56 in an evaluation match held last month and will participate in the National Sports Festival held in October as Seoul’s representative.
Coach Park, who is in the midst of field training in Cheongju ahead of the National Sports Festival, said, “Our team, which lost by more than 20 points in the first game after its founding, came together as a ‘one team’ and has now become a team that no one can ignore.” “I will show my spirit,” he said. He said, “I am so happy that my long-time dream of taking charge of the team has become a reality. Although there are players who didn’t make it to the pros, I want to make this team do well. “We will nurture our players well and send them to the pros,” he said.
He coaches his players with passion. He focuses on physical training at the Bukahyeon Culture and Sports Center in Seodaemun-gu in the morning, and moves to the Seodaemun Culture and Sports Center in the afternoon for technical training. When coaching players or playing a game, he never sits on a chair. He plays together for three or four hours and interacts with the players. He said, “After finishing the game, his whole body is wet with sweat. “The players often say, ‘I think the manager played well,’” he said with a laugh. He said, “I am not young. However, it is right to do our best for the club owner (Seodaemun-gu Mayor Lee Seong-heon) and the residents who trusted us and called us,” he said.
Physical strength is essential to play with young players. The knee area that had surgery 40 years ago requires especially careful care.
He said, “The cartilage has worn away, so if I stand for a long time, my knees swell and ache. To strengthen the muscles around the knees, I also exercise alongside the players when they exercise.” He added, “I pay particular attention to weight management. “If you gain weight, it can put a lot of strain on your knees,” he said. He still boasts a slim body and always does squats and sit-ups.
Aerobic exercise includes walking and light hiking instead of running. On his days off, he often walks along Namsan Mountain in Seoul. He also likes climbing low mountains such as Cheonggyesan Mountain in Seoul. He said, “I used to climb a lot of high mountains. “It’s good when I go up, but it seems like it puts a strain on my knees when I come down, so I tend to climb low mountains these days.”
Last year, before taking charge of Seodaemun-gu Office, I lost 10 kg. At the recommendation of his son, Seo Su-won, who was a former soccer player and model, he attempted to become a senior model.
I worked hard to become a model for about 3 hours a day for about a year. The order was to warm up and stretch, warm up lightly with dancing, and then model walking. He said, “I realized once again that modeling is not for everyone. Just walking itself made me sweat a lot. “At the same time, I could feel my posture being corrected.” So he walked the runway (stage) twice as a senior model. He said, “It was amazing to see great changes in his body and mind through modeling, which he first started as a hobby. “He gained confidence and a sense of accomplishment that he could do anything.”
Even in his busy life, he always cherishes the importance of family. He said, “I lost my husband about 10 years ago. What I lacked, his daughter (Seo Hyo-myeong) and son (Seo Su-won) made up for. “I lived my life trying harder to fill my father’s vacancy,” he said.
Her daughter Seo Hyo-myeong, who is active as an actress, married a non-celebrity man earlier this month. Seo Su-won, a former soccer player and model, now works as a manager at a model agency. He said, “I stayed in a dorm during the week, and on the weekends, the whole family would gather and eat together. “Now Hyomyeong is married and lives with her son.”
He said, “I plan to continue living harder in the future. Even though it was too late, I realized my dream of becoming the coach of a single basketball team. I will continue to do what I can for the development of Korean basketball and for my juniors. “For that to happen, more than anything, we need to be as healthy as we are now,” he said.