Tag Archives: Chang Hyejin

“We are always working for those who believe.” Woojin & Hyejin

28 September, 2017

Chang Hyejin and Kim Woojin at Rome 2017. Pic by Dean Alberga (but hey, he took it using my camera).

This is a translation of a recent article by JTBC News. You can find the original article (in Korean) here.

Kim Woojin and Chang Hyejin, 25 and 30 respectively, are preparing for the World Archery Championships in October, in Mexico.

Woojin led the gold winning men’s team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and Chang Hye-jin won two gold medals in both individual and women’s team. While they both won gold, their personalities are very different. Woojin is the youngest, but the calmest. earning him the nickname, ‘grownup’, and on the other hand Hyejin, the oldest one, is much more warrior-like. 

Together they took a gold medal after defeating host country Italy 5-1 at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final mixed team finals held in Rome, Italy on August 3.

The Archery World Cup finals is a tournament in which eight male and female athletes – one from the World Cup Rankings 1 to 7 and one from the host country – shoot tournament style. Kim won the individual competition, four years after Oh Jin-Hyuk in 2013 – the last time a that a Korean male athlete won the World Cup finals. The “Archery brothers and sisters” are on top of the world.

Since the Olympics, you have both won many international competitions.

Chang: I won the gold medal in the Olympics, so I got confidence in my performance.

Kim: I had confidence from the Olympics last year. I was careful because I slipped up on the threshold of making the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and it took a lot of strength to overcome the pressure and the burden. Since Rio, I have been shooting a lot more boldly.

Woojin’s new quiver. Gom, or 곰, means ‘bear’.


It seems that getting through the domestic qualification tournament is harder than winning the international competition. Rio Olympic men’s gold medalist Ku Bonchan and team gold medalist Lee Seungyun have been eliminated.

Kim: When I first started 8 years ago when I was a high school senior, the competition was extremely fierce and still is. If you shot well, you stayed, but if you didn’t, you had to leave, I was nervous.

How do you feel when your colleagues suddenly disappear?

Kim: The world of competition is tough. You have to survive solely on your skills, not networks of friends and family members. If it was all done with favours between members, Korea wouldn’t be the strong archery nation we have today. Of course, it’s not nice to see one of your teammates leave. I also was one of [those leaving] for approximately a year, so I know what it feels like. When I see them, I see them with the mind that we will have our day again to go to competitions together.

Chang: I used to cry when my friends dropped out of the team, but now I’m a bit older I think to myself and tell them that it’s not like we won’t be able to meet anymore.

the joker

Both of you have been eight years on the national team. It seems that the training centre must be like your home now. 

Kim: I am now more comfortable sleeping in the village than at home.

Chang: No matter how much time goes by, it’s still just ‘the village’. I’m still more comfortable at home. (laughs)

What do you do to relax?

Chang: It is not easy for me to meet my parents often because they’re all the way out in Daegu, but I like to have a ‘restaurant’ tour with my family.

Kim: I go down to the Han [river] and inhale the chicken and cola, and I like to watch movies with my friends. Pirates of the Caribbean, yeah.

Chang Hyejin & Ki Bo Bae after their semifinal match. Rome 2017

Ki Bo Bae announce she was getting married. Have you had any thoughts in that direction? 

Chang: I have talked about it a lot with my friend, but we did not think about marriage since we were always training in the national team. (laughs) I once joked to Bobae that I would be left alone if she got married, but now… hey, congratulations on your marriage, Bobae!

Kim: I told Bobae congratulations on her marriage. I am still young and I have no thoughts about ​​marriage yet. Not right now, but I do want a girlfriend. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing archery and marriage at the same time.

Tell us about the world championship next month.

Chang: The world title is not something you can say is easy. A representing athlete to has to train hard even on the day when the body is aching and wants to rest. But I’ve been doing it for the past eight years. The feeling and emotion, the spark I get when I shoot 10 points in a match is what keeps me going. I want to feel that feeling in this world championship. The goal is to win.

Kim: I want to get good results in both individual and group matches. This is the biggest major tournament since the Olympics. We have been doing well in this year’s competitions and we will be able to do well this time. We are always working for those who believe.

Chang Hyejin’s Instagram page is awesome

10 May, 2017

ArtboardChang Hyejin’s Instagram page is awesome. It’s not the formal look-at-me-I-did-this page of an Olympic champion, it’s the page of someone enjoying the hell out of taking very arch photographs of themselves, someone obviously enjoying their life and – as previously mentioned – finally being in the spotlight. It’s also someone with a decent sense of how to compose a picture, selfie or no.

She also has not one, but two Instagram fan pages  – the other one is here. Choi Misun has an excellent fan page too.

To be honest, I’m amazed the Korean Olympic recurve team have been able to fit in any archery in between  all the talk shows  they’ve appeared on  in the last six months.

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There’s are plenty of archers racking up views on social media, you can have a look at some of the American Insta wing here, although for sheer numbers no archer even comes close to Deepika Kumari’s quarter of a million Facebook followers. But nobody is yet beating Hyejin for awesomely silly, exuberant joy on social media right now.

UPDATE: birthday time!


You can follow me on Instagram here, although warning: you get a few dogs / buildings / other stuff too. 

Chang Hyejin wins… again.

22 December, 2016

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Copyright: MK

Chang Hyejin, the Rio double gold medallist, has won yet another award, this one first prize at the 2016 MBN Women’s Sports Grand Prix, this following on from her award for Female Sportsperson of The Year last month. She’s also opened up to the media about her plans for Tokyo – and getting married.

Despite her comments below about feeling awkward, from the pics that are coming out it looks like she’s been waiting a long time to glam up and take the spotlight. This, of course, follows her excellent turn in Korean Vogue a couple of months ago. Enjoy.

 

The big star is Chang Hyejin, nicknamed ‘Chang Kong’, who has been transformed from obscurity to star by winning the double gold in Olympic archery.

Her cute appearance and her witty interview style when she stated that gold medals at individual divisions tasted like chocolate pies and that gold medals at team divisions tasted like rainbow coloured cotton candy, gave her the spotlight.

“I think I won’t be forgetting this year since I’ve received such a big prize.”

She won the highest honour at the ‘2016 MBN Women’s Sports Grand Prize’ ceremony held at Lotte Hotel in Sogong-dong, Seoul on 19th December, but was still shy. Hyejin, in her fancy pearl dress stated, “I laugh and smile a lot usually, but I thought I was going to die out of awkwardness and uncomfortable feelings when taking pictures in the dress.”

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Copyright: MK

Hyejin took photos with her fans well after the awards ceremony and showed a reluctance to be a ‘star’. “I still use public transport, but, I get autograph requests in restaurants from time to time.”

This attitude is the reason Chang has played a pivotal role in gaining fame in 2016. Four years ago she did not go to the London Olympics after being ranked fourth in the representative tournament, but made third place in the year and eventually found her archery potential was blossoming.

When asked about the year-end and New Year plans, Hyejin said, “I started winter training last week, and I think I will probably return over Christmas and train.”

“As I’ve expressed that I’d want to write a new page in history, I won’t have any time to rest in 2017. The national archery team that will meet will be selected again, both the coaching staff and the athletes. Olympic gold medalists are no exception”

“The Olympics are already over. Just because a person has been at the top of the world once,  that skill rusts over time. As time goes on, my goal for participating in Tokyo is becoming crystal clear.”

Hyejin will try to make the team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, and if she wins a gold medal in the individual event would become the first individual archer to defend a title in history. 

Chang will be 30 years old in 2017. Being currently single, she expressed, “I don’t feel ready to marry anyone right now, but I get anxious that it might be too late to marry someone by the time the Tokyo Olympics are over. Two consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games are a dream, but I have other dreams too”, she explained, shyly. 

Hyejin, who once said that gold medals taste like ‘chocolate cookies’ in Rio, is still hungry for more. “I am trying to accomplish successive individual golds, marriage, and kids all at once. I suppose I want to taste other flavours as well, but I’ll know when I actually taste it.” she said, smiling. 

Copyright: MK

Original news articles by Sport MK, and can be found here and here.  Thanks to Sooji Kim for additional translation.

 

 

Chang Hyejin takes up a new career?

24 September, 2016

Things I didn’t think I’d ever see: Chang Hyejin modelling Dior and Prada for Korean Vogue. Well-deserved. Another pic and some interview (in Korean) here.

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