South Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-Jae has been named one of the 11 most beauriful athletes for this year's London Olympics.
Pantene, global hair care brand under Procter & Gamble, which is official sponsor of the 2012 Games, selected 11 of 4,800 female London Olympic athletes to name them its brand ambassadors.
The other beauties include world's No. 1 rhythmic gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva from Russia; Brazilian volleyball player Jaqueline Carvalho, British cyclist and 2008 Olympics gold medalist Victoria Pendleton, Canadian swimmer Annamay Pierse, American swimmer Natalie Coughlin, and Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm.
They also include Japanese swimmer Aya Terakawa, Chinese diver Wu Minxia, Mexican diver Paola Espinosa , Argentine tennis ace Gisela Dulko.
Name: Son Yeon Jae 孙妍在 손연재
Date of birth: May 28, 1994
Place of birth: Seoul, Korea
Height: 162 cm
Weight: 38 kg
Profession: Rhythmic gymnast, student
Through the years, Korean sports have always been blessed with charismatic icons and winning stars. There's Park Tae-Hwan, the 2008 Olympics gold medalist for swimming, Jang Mi-Ran, also an Olympic gold medalist for weightlifting, Park Ji-Sung, Manchester United's midfielder and team captain of South Korea's football national team, and last but definitely not the least, Korea's most popular sport personality today, figure skater par excellence – Kim Yu-Na.
And there's Son Yeon-Jae. Many of you might not recognize her name yet but she's the newest kid on the block in Korean sports today that is being projected as the next biggest thing. Gifted with talent and beauty, 16 year old gymnast Son Yeon-Jae has been the poster child of South Korea's rhythmic gymnastics junior team for a few years now. She first gained attention when she placed 5th in the 2007 Slovenia Junior Gymnastics World Cup beating many of her more experienced Eastern European counterparts.
She also dominated her events (winning the rope, hoop, clubs, individual, and team contests) at the Korea Gymnastics Association's national junior rhythmic gymnastics competition held in Gimpo, South Korea last year. Last month, in her first senior level competition, Yeon-Jae participated at the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup held in Kalamata, Greece. She earned a respectable 12th place finish in the all-round individual section tallying a final score of 98.45 points. She is expected to perform well this year at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games in November.
In her recent interview, Yeon-Jae cites Kim Yu-Na as her idol and hopes to follow her footsteps winning prestigious events and competitions and giving Korean sports fame and recognition in the international arena. She is also eyeing a slot in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics where she hopes to win an Olympic gold and bring to Korea its first ever gold medal for individual rhythmic gymnastics.
Source : theseoultimes.com/ST/... ( English Korean )
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