Pae Kil Su, secretary general of the DPRK gymnastics association, is renowned for his excellent records in international gymnastics competitions between the mid-1980s and 2000.
Pae won his first world championship by winning the pommel horse event at the 27th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Paris in April 1992.
He won a successive gold medal in the same event of the 25th Summer Olympic Games in the following August. In the finals he flawlessly performed high-grade movements, like changing direction 1 080 degrees with legs scissoring on one pommel and travelling from one end of the pommel horse to the other without resting on pommel. His deft performance drew the admiration of not only the audience but also judges of the International Gymnastics Federation.
Pae became the first person in the sporting world of the DPRK to win both world championship and Olympic gold medal.
He shook the world artistic gymnastics circles again by winning the second championship in the pommel horse event of the 28th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships the following year, and the third in the 32nd World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
He thus became the first gymnast in the DPRK to win world championship three times and was called a “pommel horse king.”
He won several trophies and more than 30 medals in international competitions.
Pae is a man of assiduous character. Once he sets a goal, he does not back off, despite repeated failures.
During his playing career he never failed to carry out the daily training assignments, and his persevering efforts enabled him to perform excellent and high-grade technical movements that won a big hand from experts and fans.
For his feats, he was awarded the titles of Labour Hero of the DPRK and People’s Athlete.
After his retirement from active playing, he studied at Korea University of Physical Education. Now he is active at the DPRK gymnastics association.
He cherishes as his maxim that he would exalt the honour of the motherland with gold medals.
At present he dedicates all his wisdom and passion to steady development of gymnastics in the country.
His major concern is focussed on training reserve players.
He always makes strict demand on coaches to attach their primary importance to scouting reserve players with suitable physical constitution. When he is informed that a talented gymnast is identified, he hurries there, setting aside all his work.
Ri Se Gwang, three-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist, and Hong Un Jong, gold medal winner in the women’s vaulting horse event of the 45th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 29th Olympic Games, are among many gymnasts who rose to fame as world aces under Pae’s coaching.