February 20, 2017 12:01
Son Yeon-jae will wrap up her career as a rhythmic gymnast after almost 20 years in the sport. She is expected to make an official announcement early this week.
She devoted herself entirely to the sport until recent years, spending most of that time overseas enduring harsh training schedules that often lasted almost all day.
She also suffered numerous injuries. "It was so hard that I thought about quitting a million times," she said in an interview earlier.
While an Olympic medal eluded her -- she placed 5th in London in 2012 and 4th in Rio last year -- Son ushered in a new era in Korean gymnastics, rising steadily from her 32nd place finish at the 2010 world championships to the 4th place in Rio.
She trained tirelessly, and it paid off as she positioned herself at the forefront of the sport in Korea.
Son plans to transition into a coaching role, and has reportedly received an offer from China's national team.
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