It was a welcome worthy of a champion.
Park Inbee,… who won the Olympic gold in women’s golf in Rio,… was mobbed by fans, reporters and her family as she arrived at Incheon International Airport this morning.
The remaining members of Team Korea will land on Wednesday.
Hwang Hojun has this story.
Korea’s newly-crowned Olympic golf champion Park Inbee is back on home soil after her gold-medal winning performance in Rio.
The 24-hour plus flight was not enough to dampen Park’s emotion of doing her country so proud.
“This was probably the first time I’ve competed for my country rather than my own personal glory. When I heard the national anthem on the 18th hole,… it was — without a doubt — the best music I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Reporters and photographers swarmed the arrivals gate, determined to get a view of the triumphant champion.
Among the crowd was Park’s grandfather, who was shedding tears of joy and pride.
“My granddaughter has become the daughter of Korea. I couldn’t be happier.”
Park was originally scheduled to return with the rest of the national team on Wednesday.
But the thumb injury she has been battling all year, prompted her to leave Rio a day earlier than originally planned.
The 28-year-old, dubbed the empress of golf in Korea, has now accomplished what’s being called a “career golden slam”, winning seven majors and an Olympic gold.
The medal carries extra significance as golf returned to the Olympics this year after an absence of 116 years.
And this might not be the end of the golden story, as Park also said she’s willing to compete again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if she gets the chance.
Meanwhile, a homecoming ceremony that will officially disband Korea’s 2016 Olympic national team will be held at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday morning, shortly after the rest of the squad returns from Rio.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.
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