Park Joo-hyo overcomes level 5 disability “I will reconnect the broken golden vein”
“At first, it was hard to stand and see the ground.”
Two years ago, weightlifter Park Joo-hyo (26-Goyang City Hall) was diagnosed with a level 5 disability following spinal surgery. Finding it difficult to lift weights and go about his daily life, he shortened his three-year rehabilitation to one year and returned to work last year. Within a year of picking up the barbell again, he was selected for the national team and is set to compete in his first Asian Games.
Park has been a highly touted weightlifting prospect since high school. After earning her first Taekwondo mark in her senior year, she was consistently selected for the national team until 2019. His career seemed to be on a solid path, but a sudden crisis put the brakes on. While serving in the military, he injured his back and had to undergo surgery. He was diagnosed with a level 5 disability and was strongly encouraged by his doctor to change careers.
Despite all the pressure, Park couldn’t let go of the weights. He didn’t give up and kept moving little by little, eventually succeeding in his comeback. At this year’s Jinju Asian Championships, which doubled as the national team trials, he earned his coveted gold medal by finishing on the podium. He won a silver medal in the men’s 73kg at the 2023 World Championships on Tuesday, lifting 143kg in the lift, 187kg in the snatch and 330kg in the total.
South Korean weightlifting hasn’t won a gold medal since Jang Jang-ran in the women’s middleweight category at the 2010 Guangzhou Games. Park is preparing for the Games with the goal of breaking the 13-year gold drought. “The gap between the records of the athletes competing in the 73-kilogram weight class is close,” he said in an interview with the Kookmin Ilbo on Wednesday, adding, “I think I can win a gold medal if I succeed in all six phases of the lifting and snatch.”
Injury management will be key to her medal haul. He will have to be especially careful with his back, which has undergone surgery. Park still has two iron rods in his back, each about three fingers long. “Sometimes, without warning, my back will give out and I’ll fall down,” he laments.메이저놀이터
Park’s team, Goyang City Hall, is also known for being the team that Vice Minister of Culture Jang Jang-ran played for until the end of his career. “Jang Jang-ran shared a lot of her experiences in big international competitions such as the Olympics,” said Park, who often bumped into the vice minister at the training center before and after her return. “Hearing such stories from someone who stood at the top of the world made me feel energized and eager to work out.” Park will leave for Hangzhou on Nov. 28 and compete on Nov. 2.