Sports Heroes – Part 1

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Source: Shutterstock

Yuna Kim (Kim Yeon-ah) (b.1990) 
figure skater, South Korea (retired in 2014)

The “Ice Queen” is an iconic figure-skating world champion from South Korea. She was the first female skater to win the Olympic Games, World Championships, Four Continents Championships and Grand Prix Final.

Source: Paralympic.org

Park Ji-sung (b.1981)
footballer, South Korea (retired in 2014)

Nicknamed “Three Lungs Park”, he is considered the most successful Asian footballer in history because of his exceptional fitness level and pace. He is the first Asian footballer to win the UEFA Champions League trophy and FIFA World Cup.

Source: Shutterstock

Yao Ming (b.1980)
NBA player, China (retired in 2011)

One of the top basketball players of the National Basketball Association (Houston Rockets), Yao Ming was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. After graduating with a degree in economics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, he now builds schools and backs several humanitarian and environmental causes. He is currently supporting WildAid’s latest global campaign against ivory, shark’s fin and rhino horn trade.

Source: Rick Mccharles

Kohei Uchimura (b.1989)
gymnast, Japan (retired in 2017)

Considered the greatest gymnast of all time, Uchimura has a remarkable track record as a six-time world champion and a two-time Olympic winner. He won every world all-around title in the past two Olympic cycles as well as Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

Source: Shutterstock

Li Na (b.1982)
tennis player, China (retired in 2014)

The tennis trailblazer was the only Asian to win a Grand Slam singles and the first Chinese player to get into the world’s top 10 ranking. In 2014, she achieved Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) world No. 2 ranking. Her feats ignited a major population growth of tennis players in East Asia.

Source: Zimbio

Sachin Tendulkar (b.1973)
cricketer, India (retired in 2013)

Having played domestically and internationally for nearly 24 years, this former international cricketer was considered the greatest batsman of all time. His string of achievements includes being the highest run scorer of all time and the only player to score 100 international centuries and complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket.

Read the full article in issue 132 of Asian Geographic Magazine.

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