Yeon-Jae Son, who is often referred to as the Korean “Fairy of Rhythmic Gymnastics” was recently crowned the queen during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games (Asiad). Son became the first Korean gymnast to win the gold medal for women’s single rhythmic gymnastics for the Asian Games.
For the longest time, Korea has never been able to produce skillful gymnasts who were good enough to win medals in global tournaments. Often compared to the former Korean figure skater Yuna Kim, Yeon-Jae Son rose as the Korean hope for its rhythmic gymnastics.
The women’s single all round rhythmic gymnastics games took place at Namdong Sports Arena in Incheon, South Korea. In this year’s Asiad, Son was the 7th out of 16 participants to perform before the audience and the panel of judges. After her performance, Son scored 18.083 for ribbon, 18.216 for the hoop, 17.300 for ball, and 18.101 for clubs. Besides one small mistake she made while performing with the ball, Son gave an almost flawless performance and defeating her rival, Dung Ssun-Wei from China.
20-year-old Yeon-Jae Son began her athletic career as a gymnast at a young age with the intention of losing weight. After discovering she had a talent for the sport at the 2010 Gwangzhou Asian Games when she managed to earn bronze medal, despite being the youngest in the Korean national team. She was the first Korean to ever win a medal in any international tournament.
In 2012, Son was selected as a member of the Korean national team to participate in the 2012 London Olympics. During the Qualifications, Son was placed 6th, allowing her to participate in the All-around finals. Though she was ranked 3rd up to the 2nd rotation, after dropping her clubs she was dropped to 4th, almost becoming the first Korean Olympic medalist for rhythmic gymnastics.
After the award ceremony, Son told the press that she was simply “so happy” when asked how she felt after being crowned gold medalist.
Meanwhile, many of her fans are expressing excitement at the fact that the Korean swimmer Taehwan Park had shown up at the All-around finals to support her, stirring up a great deal of curiosity as to how close the 2 sports stars really are.