06 Aug 2021

Outstandingly successful as a player, Korea Republic’s Ryu Seungmin has been named Vice Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission; he was elected on Friday 6th August.

by Ian Marshall

Finland’s Emma Terho (née Laaksonen), double Olympic ice hockey bronze medallist was elected to the role of Chair; she has served as an active member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission since 2018.

Unfortunately, Ryu Seungmin was only able to play a limited role at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He tested positive for Covid-19, pleasingly he has recovered and has suffered no great ill effects. He replaces Slovakia’s Danka Bartekova, after she failed in her bid for Commission re-election.

Absent from the action but for Ryu Seungmin, there has been good reason for celebration. Both the Korea Republic’s men’s and women’s team performed admirably; moreover, on Thursday 5th August he marked is 39th birthday.

Always, as a player, “Speedy Gonzales”, he will be remembered for his epic performance in the Galatsi Stadium at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. After accounting for Swedish legend, Jan-Ove Waldner, he beat China’s Wang Hao to secure men’s singles gold.

Less well known as a player and now coming to the forefront as an official, is his desire to promote harmony between Korea Republic and their northern neighbour the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In 2011, staged in Doha, he partnered DPR Korea’s Kim Hyok Bong to success in the Peace and Sport Cup.

Furthermore, he supported the move for Korea Republic and DPR Korea to join forces at the semi-final stage of the women’s event at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad.

The official ceremony, a prestigious occasion, when all members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission are sworn into office, will be held on Sunday 8th August



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