Wednesday, 24th April 2024

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Park Chan-jong was driving on a road that he would “bike by almost every day if it didn’t rain.”

A five-ton truck in the second lane suddenly changed direction and hit Park Chan-jong, who was running at the end of the third lane. Three days later, on Sep. 26, he had his left leg amputated. Less than three months after the accident, Park Chan-jong got a new bicycle. I left it in the hospital room and waited for the day to get back on the saddle like a bee in the air. It was before he even matched his prosthetic leg. He pushed his wheelchair with his right foot, did aerobic exercise around the hospital for an hour a day, and began to strengthen his muscle with one-legged squats and chin-ups. When he posted a humorous phrase on Instagram, “I have no prosthetic leg, I have no will,” to a picture taken with my bicycle in the hospital room, more than 30,000 people cheered. He has been a bicycle YouTuber since 2016, but it was the first time he received so much attention.

He lost his leg on his favorite bike, and he didn’t want to see it even when he was looking at it. “I don’t want anyone to fold the bike because of me,” Park Chan-jong said in a cafe in Songdo, Incheon, on the 21st of last month. “At first, I told my now-wife-turned-girlfriend to sell all the bicycle-related items. Come to think of it, it was an inevitable accident even if I didn’t ride the bike. The truck drove over three lanes to the sidewalk.” He added, “I ran a YouTube channel on the theme of bicycles, and the ending would be so bad if it suddenly disappeared one day in an accident like this.”

When middle and high school YouTube subscribers asked, “I want to become a cyclist because I love bicycles so much, what do you think?” he conservatively answered, “If it’s fun, do it as a hobby, and if you have talent, do it.” However, when he was able to walk in January this year with a prosthetic leg, he decided to become a full-time cyclist in March, two months later, and enrolled in the Jeonbuk Disabled Cycling Federation. 슬롯머신

It is hard to shake off requests from prosthetic legs and bicycle companies to become ambassadors, but he said he wanted to repay them by playing as a player who can be a hope for the amputee. He said, “The price of the prosthetic leg is about 30 million won, but I have to change it to a new one every five years. It’s a lot of money for the amputee, but considering their difficulties, I have no choice but to try harder.”

Information on para-cycle is hard to find in Korea. Becoming an athlete is a different person. When he participated in the UCI Para-cycle World Cup held in Ostenden, Belgium in May, he had a thrilling experience. Park feels respect for athletes from other countries and learns practical tips as well as courage.

“I ran into Darren Hicks, a gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, at a restaurant near the venue and told him, ‘Thanks to you, I’ve come all the way here to dream again,’ and he applauded me.” “Instead of being a C3 player who wears prosthetic legs and rolls pedals on both legs, American athlete Todd Key said, ‘It would be much more advantageous if I participate in a C2 player who rolls pedals on only one leg with a severed leg fixed on the body of a bicycle.’ I’m preparing to change my grade from the next competition.”

Park Chan-jong won silver medals in four events, including 3km individual pursuit, team sprint, 22km individual road solo, and 61km individual road in the 43rd National Sports Festival for the Disabled held in November. When asked about his goal as a para cyclist, Park Chan-jong replied, “I will be selected for the national team and win the gold medal at the 2026 Nagoya Asian Para Games, and I want to participate in the 2028 L.A. Paralympics.”

There is also a goal that he wants to achieve as an individual player, not as an athlete. “I want to break the personal shortest time of 5 minutes and 10 seconds in the Namsan Mountain Uphill section of Seoul, which is left on the sports record app “Straba.” I am in the mid-seven-minute range, and if I break it, I think I can say that I have surpassed myself,” he said.

Park Chan-jong said, “I want to do all the activities that I can do with my legs again. I plan to gradually challenge swimming, running, and triathlon.” Starting with the 10-kilometer marathon next year, he plans to gradually increase his distance and compete in a full-course marathon in Boston, the U.S. “If I come in about four and a half hours, I can win first place in my disability rating, but the prize money is 3,000 dollars, so the round-trip plane will be quite expensive.”

“I hope my story doesn’t read as ‘overcoming disability’,” said Park Chan-jong, who is also planning to write a book. “When I say I overcame it, it means that there are people who haven’t overcome it. At first, I thought, ‘I could have done more activities if I only had my knee left,’ but I don’t think I would have been 10cm more unhappy because I had another 10cm cut, or happy because I still had it left. I hope you can see the disability as just taking it with you, not much different.”

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