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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. 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: Korea

International Debut

Competing for

General Interest

Marine Boy (, 04 Mar 2017;, 27 Jun 2018)
Most influential person in career
His mother. "She recovered from cancer two years after treatment. Despite her cancer, she always came to the competition venue to support me. The doctor said that my good results help her to get over the illness." (, 20 Dec 2019)
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 July 2020 he established Park Tae Hwan Swimming Pool in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The pool introduced swimming programmes and facilities based on his experience training in Australia. (, 26 Jul 2020; Instagram profile, 13 July 2020)

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 international 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." (, 18 Oct 2019;, 25 Apr 2019;, 24 Apr 2019;, 29 Jun 2018)

He tested positive for testosterone in September 2014 and in March 2015 he received an 18-month ban from the International Swimming Federation [FINA]. He was 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] enforced their rule that prevents athletes who have tested positive for banned substances from representing the national team for an additional three years. In June 2016 Park appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] which ruled in his favour. The KOC declared him eligible for selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he competed in multiple events. (, 26 Jan 2015; 23 Mar 2015;, 09 Feb 2015;, 29 May 2015;, 09 Jun 2015;, 08 Jul 2016)