A Marathon in the Most Isolated Country in the World | Running in North Korea

A Marathon in the Most Isolated Country in the World | Running in North Korea

Mangyongdae Prize
International Marathon is a yearly event
that started in April 1981. We picked April to commemorate
our Great Leader’s birthday as one form of celebration. Many athletes from home
and abroad are participating. As you will see tomorrow, there
will be 30,000 people here welcoming the players. To become a flourishing
country through sports is the goal of my country
and the party. The Supreme Leader has a lot of
interest in sports. And from the way
we welcome foreign players, I think you will get
to know us better. Wishing you the best. Stay in your best shape
so you can place well. This room shows the samples of
products made in our factory. The mission of our factory
is to serve our athletes. The Supreme Leader visited
the factory two times. He monitors and controls all the automated
machines in the factory. If the blue light turns red
it means there is a problem. Have a seat. He comes here to recover
from the hard training. I saw him win and
stand on the podium. I was overcome with so many
emotions watching our flag. With love of country. That’s the first time
I shed a tear. I can’t even express
how I felt in that moment. He is training really hard
for the Tokyo Olympics. My secret of winning is
our Supreme Leader’s support. He provides the environment
in which I can focus solely on training. Also, after winning the Games. He honours us and awards gifts
like a nice house. That’s our motivation. When I was 10 years old, one of my teachers discovered
my talent and suggested weightlifting and I agreed to try it. Since then, my interest
gradually grew. During that time, I became pretty strong
and got good at it. Since then I’ve been
training as an athlete. Sports started to develop in
the DPRK after the liberation in order to promote
better health for people and also to create
professional athletes. We all train together and two people share a room. In my opinion, our country’s team
has a stronger sense of bonding than other countries’ team. We really care and
support each other. We work together in unison
in honour of our home country. When I won the gold medal
in the women’s marathon at the seventh World
Championship in Athletics, they flew me back
in a special private jet. They provided me with a luxury
house and a luxury car. I was given love and care that even biological parents
couldn’t give. Now, after educating me, they raised me to become
a full-fledged worker. With their care, I became a delegate to
the Supreme People’s Assembly. I was a mere marathon runner who was given
the highest honour: “Heroine of the Republic.” Which is a title given
to martyrs at death. I was given such a noble title. Please sit down
on your original seat. And your father and mother.
Then your wife and son. Kimchi. Kimchi. I started gymnastics
at seven years old. Our government funded me to enter Mangyongdae
Children’s Palace to take my first step
into gymnastics. When I was 10 years old, I was
able to join a few sports clubs allowing me to become
a professional gymnast under the care and support
of our government. When I won first place
and stood on the podium, our Supreme Leader
was very happy. He also let us take pictures
with him after our return from victory and provided us
with a lot of things, like this kind of luxury house
and car. As an athlete fighting
for the honour and dignity of our country, it’s our destiny,
and an honourable thing to do. This medal is not important
to me but this is a gift that I
present to my country. By nature,
I don’t have the speed, but I do have the endurance. To win this race,
I’m going to try my best. It’s not just me,
but our Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is most pleased when an athlete wins a gold
medal in an international game. He has been giving me the best
care and love I could ask for. When I won the first place, it was during
the Arduous March. A difficult time in DPRK. Reporters asked me
many questions and this is how I answered. I said, “I only pictured our Great Leader
Kim Jong II as I ran.” I said, “it inspired me and
it was my source of strength.” The fact that I brought joy
to my country, my people and our Great Leader brought me tears of joy. Our athletes are currently
training to be global players. Through sports and gold medals they can make our nation
proud and well-known. That’s our national policy. The athletes who win
medals are heroes and patriots. Our Great Leader
Kim II Sung said: “Sports is the key to the rise
and fall of the country.” After the flag-raising
ceremony, return to your positions. Also, stand up straight!
Don’t stare at the foreigners. Magyongdae International
Marathon takes place annually for athletes and amateurs
from all around the world who respect our Great Leader Kim II Sung’s dedication
to world peace. Also, it’s international
brotherhood event to bring peace and harmony
between us and the world. I hereby declare the opening of the 30th Mangyongdae
International Marathon. Go, go, win! Go, go, win! Only when you’re sweating
and your heart is burning for your country
and your people will you be able
to become a winner. This is one thing
I really want to say.

29 thoughts on “A Marathon in the Most Isolated Country in the World | Running in North Korea

  1. I'm pretty sure for most weightlifters, training is their life, and everything they do is dictated by their sport. But for these guys, the stakes are different, and unless they're a phenom like Om Yun Chol, their lives, and their family's lives probably depend on this

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