Grace Park to Serve as 'Role Model' at Youth Olympics

Grace Park Grace Park

Retired golfer Grace Park will meet young golfers as an "athlete role model" in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, which kicks off on Saturday and lasts 13 days.

Park, who is better known as Park Ji-eun in Korea, ended her professional career last year.

"Looking back at my golfing career, I realize the most important thing is to have pride," Park said. "Of course you have to train hard but that's the basic thing. I believe golfers need to be taught good manners from an early age, respect for other cultures and consideration for others. That's what I'm going to tell young golfers."

She is to serve as a mentor for young golfers from all over the world.

The inaugural Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged between 14 and 18 was held in Singapore four years ago. The International Olympic Committee takes the Youth Olympics very seriously, and aims to instill good sportsmanship in future Olympians through the event.

About 3,800 athletes in 28 sports will participate in this year's Youth Olympics, and 36 have been chosen as athlete role models.

Golf was added to the Youth Olympics this year. The addition couples the return of the sport to the 2016 Olympics for the first time in 112 years.

"It is a great honor to take part in this event as a role model for junior golfers from all over the world. I will do my best to share my experience with the youngsters," Park said.

Park was among the first Korean women who pioneered their career in the U.S. LPGA along with Pak Se-ri and Kim Mi-hyun. She has six LPGA titles including one major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2004.

Park got married in 2012, and is currently taking a graduate level course on golf management at Korea University.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 15, 2014 08:17 KST