May 21, 2012 09:10
An 18-year-old Korean high school student won the gold medal at the 2012 International Philosophy Olympiad that took place in Oslo, Norway, from Wednesday to Sunday.
Yoon Hye-mi, a third year student at Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, was honored with the top prize. It is the first time that Korea has produced a winner since it first started taking part in the IPO in 2002.
Now in its 20th year, the essay competition lets representatives from various countries write on a topic in one of the three languages -- English, French or German. This year, a total of 81 students from 39 countries participated. Apart from Yoon, the only one other gold medalist this year came from Lithuania.
Yoon said the key to her success was her love of reading, a habit she formed at a very young age. She was especially attracted to fantasy novels, and started reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" in English, which helped develop her foreign-language fluency.
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