From brushing to the national team… Average age 56 curling team’s infinite challenge

People from sports club clubs… Temporary suspension of livelihoods such as academy, cargo, and delivery
“Turning point to plant dreams in life”… Participated in the Gangneung Senior World Championships from the 22nd

 “I wonder if it’s a dream or real life.”

Choi Jong-kyung (66) of the national team ‘K-Senior’, who will participate in the Senior World Curling Championships starting on the 22nd of this month, smiled shyly as if the Taegeuk mark on his left chest was awkward.

After entering the Jincheon Athletes’ Village, which he had only heard about, at the beginning of this month, he said that he realized with his own eyes, ‘I have become a real national representative’ while watching archers Ansan and Kim Je-deok, whom he had only seen on TV.스포츠토토

It is also true that K-senior players were just a few months ago, people who gathered in groups of 2, 3 and 5 at sports clubs and played curling as a hobby.

Ham Yeong-woo (55) first learned about curling at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and it started when he copied the sweeping motion with a broom while cleaning a department store where he worked at the time.

Other players have also been curling while having their own jobs, such as academy, freight transportation, and auto parts delivery.

In the meantime, I went to the selection with half expectations and half doubts when I heard the news that a national team for a senior competition in which people over 50 would participate was selected.

He was worried for a while because he had to take care of his livelihood, but he picked up a broom (brush) with one passion for curling.

Cheon In-sun (55) said in an interview with Yonhap News at the curling center in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do on the 18th, “It is a great honor for me personally to wear the Taegeuk mark and become a national representative at my age. People around me are also happy.” I am so grateful for that,” he said.

At the same time, when Mr. Chun said, “Thank you to my wife for not being able to pay for my living expenses,” fellow players listening to him competedly expressed their feelings for his wife, causing laughter to spread throughout the scene.

In fact, it is difficult to expect to compete with a professionally trained overseas team to achieve results. However, they seemed to enjoy the process itself.

After being selected for the national team in December of last year, they began training on their own at a sports club, and since February of this year, they have been under the guidance of Jeong Jeong-heon (43), the national team coach. Earlier this month, he entered the Jincheon National Training Center.

I am old and lack the basics of exercise, so there are still places that do not hurt, such as joints and muscles.

Shin Man-ho (53), who said, “It’s so hard to do it when I’m old. Everyone’s knees hurt,” said Shin Man-ho (53), “I think I have to do exercise step by step since I was young. The people who represent the national team are really amazing.”

Strategic fighting is an important sport enough to be called ‘chess on ice’, so I had to wrap my head around studying strategy.

In particular, Chun, who was in charge of ‘skip’, which determines the team’s strategy, had to remain at the stadium for additional training even after the group training was over.

Mr. Chun said, “It’s the first time I’ve studied the rest since elementary school,” and said with a laugh, “I lost a lot of hair in a few months.”

However, even when complaining, the corners of their lips were raised, and the excitement and joy of curling was felt in their eyes.

This is because this competition is the driving force that enables them to live their lives vigorously once again in their twilight years.

Mr. Chun said, “I haven’t had a day off while working. It’s been a repetition of work and home for decades.”

“From now on, I want to live my life trying to do what I want to do,” he said.

Choi, the eldest member of the team, also expressed pride, saying, “I started curling and the way my acquaintances look at me in everyday life has changed.”

The youngest member, Heo Jeong-wook (51), showed his extraordinary affection by saying, “Curling is life. Just as our lives don’t go the way we want, so does curling.”

After the interview, K-Senior played a practice game with players from Uijeongbu Songhyeon High School.

He shouted “Two, three, fighting!” and the seriousness was evident on the faces of those standing on the ice.

Sending stones to the target board (house), reading the line, and sweeping, I couldn’t find the innocence at the time of the interview.

Coach Jeong Chan-heon, who was watching the training, expressed his respect, saying, “As expected, you are an adult, so you take responsibility for training.”

K-Senior’s ‘Infinite Challenge’ will be held at the Gangneung Hockey Center for 8 days from the 22nd.

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