Now that the Sochi Olympics is long gone and we have forgotten what happened and who won what (only joking!) it’s time to turn our attention to the next Winter Olympics which will take place in Pyeongchang in South Korea. For those of you who don’t know South Korea is at the same latitude as Spain and can get very cold in winter as I know from personal frozen cheeked experience! Therefore it should make a great place for the next Olympics.
All the South Korean biathletes will be looking forward to 2018 and I have decided to cast my eye over one of them here. Ji-hee Mun -pronounced ‘moon’ otherwise my title doesn’t work so well! – is one of South Korea’s best known biathletes. Born in Jeonbuk Province on the 2nd of August 1988 she will be coming up to 30 by the time we reach Pyeongchang.
She was the only female biathlete from South Korea to go to Sochi accompanying the vastly experienced Lee In-bok. She finished 74th in the Sprint event and 69th in the Individual. On the World Cup her best result to date was a 37th place finish in the Sprint event in Pyeongchang in 2007/08. This was one of two occasions that she has appeared in the TOP 40, the other coming in the Antholz Individual where she came 39th. Ji-hee also has many TOP 60 finishes to her name and is a prominent member of the South Korean relay teams.
Winning the right to host the Winter Olympics in 2018 is a big deal for South Korea and is a fantastic chance to increase the popularity of biathlon in the country. You won’t be surprised to learn that it is not a well-known or well supported sport there but with the Olympics it is a fantastic opportunity for biathletes like Ji-hee to showcase their sport at home. They also had a chance to do this in 2009 when the World Championships where held there. It was nice for the South Koreans to have their families and friends be able to watch them and with the bigger stage of the Olympics it will bring more attention to them and the sport.
Ji-hee started biathlon at the age of 14 and I am sure she never expected to have the chance to compete in a home Olympics some 16 years later. It is only the beginning of the 4 year cycle that will take us to Pyeongchang and I am sure all the South Korea team will be working really hard to make sure they are selected for the team and that they can compete well and show their fellow citizens what biathlon is all about. Ji-hee must really be looking forward to this and if she can get some good results at home I know she will be Over the Mun!
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