The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are just around the corner, just one week away.
The international sporting event will begin with an opening ceremony on Aug. 6 and run until Aug. 22. Team Korea will compete with athletes from all around the world in a total of 24 events during the 17-day run.
Korea’s main group of athletes departed Incheon International Airport on July 27 and arrived in Rio de Janeiro on July 28. The 63 athletes will compete in eight events: gymnastics, fencing, weightlifting, handball, boxing, shooting, rowing and swimming. Other athletes on the national squad, like those competing in volleyball or soccer, departed Korea separately.
Greeting the national teams at Galeao International Airport were more than 90 Korean residents of Rio who chanted, “Daehanminguk” (대한민국), waving both the South Korean and Brazilian national flags, amid a welcoming performance by a traditional samulnori drum troupe. Some Brazilians were also spotted among the Team Korea fans, holding a banner that said, “Welcome to Brazil.”
“I now realize that I’m really in Brazil,” said Oh Young-ran, a five-time Olympic handball competitor. “The super-long flight exhausted me, but I’ll return all the support I’ve gotten from fans with great results in the games.”
The national squad of athletes started training and acclimatizing the day it arrived, so as to quickly adjust to the time difference and to the local weather before the Rio Games officially kick off for the first time in South America.
With the first quest for medals to be held on Aug. 7, starting with the men’s 10-meter air pistol event, the national squad will start in earnest to aim for as many gold medals as it can. The team has the goal of ranking in the top 10 on the medals table, with at least 10 gold medals; not only in archery, taekwondo and shooting, all three of which are traditionally strong for the South Korean team, but in other events, too, such as fencing, judo, wrestling and golf.
Hong Si-wan, Seoul