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Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea, KOR


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
27 September 1989
183 cm
English, Korean
Higher education
Physical Education - Danguk University: Seoul, KOR

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age five.
Why this sport?
He suffered from asthma as a child and started the sport because it was recommended to his parents by a doctor, who believed it could improve his condition. He then showed talent at the sports centre where he swam and set his sights on a career as a swimmer.
Club / Team
Incheon Metropolitan City Hall: Korea
Training Regime
He swims 14km a day.

International Debut

Competing for

General Interest

Marine Boy (, 04 Mar 2017;, 27 Jun 2018)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, US swimmer Michael Phelps. (, 12 Apr 2013;, 25 Aug 2015)
He was troubled by persistent injuries to his right shoulder in 2014 and 2015. (, 04 Jun 2015)
Awards and honours
He was named Most Valuable Player at the 2017 Korean National Sports Festival. (, 27 Oct 2017)

In 2015 he received the Choengryong Medal, the Republic of Korea's highest order of sport merit. (, 28 Feb 2015)

He was named 2006 Pacific Rim Male Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine. (Swimming World, 30 Nov 2006)

He was named Most Valuable Player at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, after winning seven medals, more than any other athlete. (Timed Finals, 15 Dec 2006)
He became the first Korean swimmer to win an Olympic medal when he won the gold medal in the 400m freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (, 23 Mar 2015)
Other information
In June, 2018 he withdrew from the Korean team for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The following year he decided not to compete at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, and announced that he was taking time away from competitions. "I've realised that I am in no shape to post good records. Rather than saying I am retiring, I'd like to take some time to think about my future." (, 25 Apr 2019;, 24 Apr 2019;, 29 Jun 2018)

In January 2015 it was revealed that he had tested positive for the banned substance Nebido, an injectable form of testosterone. The result was from a doping test he took at the beginning of September 2014. His management company claimed the positive test was the result of chiropractic treatment he had at a hospital prior to the 2014 Asian Games, and that he had not been properly informed about the medication. In March 2015 he received an 18-month ban from the International Swimming Federation [FINA], backdated to September 2014. He was subsequently stripped of the one silver and five bronze medals he had won at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea. In April 2016 the Korean Olympic Committee [KOC] decided to continue with a policy which prevents athletes who have tested positive for banned substances from representing the national team for an additional three years. In June 2016 Park appealed the decision of the KOC to enforce the policy to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS], and in July 2016 CAS ruled in Park's favour. The KOC subsequently declared him eligible for selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 26 Jan 2015; 23 Mar 2015;, 09 Feb 2015;, 29 May 2015;, 09 Jun 2015;, 08 Jul 2016)

The swimming pool used for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea, is named in his honour. (, 09 Jun 2014)