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From Olympic glory to prime time TV: the Sim Kwon-ho story Updated: 2020-09-25 17:13:24 KST

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Sim Kwon-ho's Olympic triumph in the men's Greco-Roman wrestling 54 kilograms category at Sydney 2000.
That made him the first Korean to win two consecutive gold medals in an individual event at the Summer Olympics, moving up a weight class after clinching the 48 kilo title 4 years before in Atlanta.

"My goodness Already 20 years It feels surreal. Many people weren't even born then "

The 'Little Giant' has since moved from the arena to a career in TV entertainment, where retired sports figures like 2002 World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan and basketball great Heo Jae now thrive.

"Entering a new field was scary at first but my life has always been about challenging myself. Like the way I moved up in weight despite everyone discouraging me at the time."

The two-time gold medalist hopes that through the exposure, wrestling and other combat sports can become more relatable.

"Koreans in general fear fighting sports It's even disliked by some and not much info on our craft is out there. Through TV, though, we athletes can show the public our true selves, and how approachable we are outside the gym. I think it's great."

But Sim's ultimate ambitions lie in the gym where it all started.

"My true desire is to nurture the next generation of Korean wrestlers To train a little boy, starting from the very basics, until he one day becomes an Olympic gold medalist."

Whether it be on TV or on the wrestling mat, Sim Kwon-ho has a knack for making headlines.
Perhaps one day, Korea may see one of its greatest Olympic champions coach the national wrestling team.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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