“When I was leaving my native home, my mother asked me not to disappoint my villagers. I’ve never forgotten the request of my mother for 20 years, along with the gun report echoing the training hall,” said Pak Myong Won, a shooting player at the Defence Sports Club of the Korean People’s Army, after winning a gold medal in the 14th Asian Shooting Championships held in November 2019.
During his career as a shooter for the past two decades, he bagged 245 medals, including 145 golds in many international and national games.
He is a Merited Athlete, who has been chosen as one of ten best players in the country four times.
He had never dreamed of being a shooting player.
During his middle school years, his teacher, friends and parents thought that he would succeed in the scientific research sector in the future, as he showed good performance in the overall subjects and, in particular, distinguished himself in mathematics and physics.
But, one day, he was encountered with Ri Sung Il, coach who was the then Pusan Middle School in Sunchon City, South Phyongan Province, for the selection of players.
With a professional intuition, Ri saw a suitable physical constitution as a shooter in Pak.
He prevailed over Pak’s mother and his teachers to yield their opinions.
When Pak was leaving his home, his mother said: What is important for a man is how faithfully he performs his duty, not what kind of job he does. Don’t forget your villagers’ expectation even when you’re in the sports club.
When Pak started training at the sports club, he got interested in shooting simply prompted by curiosity.
But he could not stand his mental and physical burden from his coach’s exacting demands and intensive training.
His coach took Pak to task: Everybody can do shooting. But a shooter shouldering the honour of the country must make a bull’s-eye strike. To this end, you must overcome yourself. Bear in mind that the eyes of your villagers are on you.
The words reminded him of his mother’s request.
He made painstaking efforts to carry out his coach’s training schedules.
Shooting requires higher mental stability than other sporting events.
Ri is good at controlling and managing the mental state of a player to help him maintain accurate and stable position under any circumstances.
While keeping pace with the player under training in order to understand details of changes in his mental and physical conditions, Ri helped him to acquire the knack and sense of shooting and build up his playing courage.
In the course of this, Pak could learn the knowhow of stable shooting posture, accurate aiming and fast shooting earlier than others.
Thanks to his strenuous efforts in training, he began to score excellent results in international and national games, thus winning his fame as a master shot in the shooting circles.
The secretary-general of the Shooting Association said: It is the forte of Pak Myong Won to maintain his mentality in good state under any circumstances.
Pak, now a coach, is devoting himself to the training of players with the same ardour as in the days of his career shooter.
It is his firm will to train world-level shooters to keep demonstrating the honour of the country.