Kim Kuk Hyang, who was a diver of the then April 25 Sports Club, is the first world champion of the swimming circles in the DPRK.
Born as an only daughter of a sportspersons’ family, she started to learn artistic gymnastics from her mother who had worked as a coach at a sports club.
Afterwards, she was chosen as a gymnast at the above-said sports club and trained hard. One day, her coach told her an amazing news that she was selected as a diver.
How could I dive from a high platform? The mere thought perplexed her.
Holding the hands of the coach, she asked if she had no prospects in the gymnastic event. Expressing her resolve to make redoubled efforts in the future, she entreated her coach not to exclude her.
Her coach said she was more fit to diving and that she would readily get familiar with the event as she learned artistic gymnastics. She encouraged her, noting that she was able to be a diving champion if she made a little effort.
Though the event required highly difficult movements, she buckled down to training without hesitation as she had distinguished herself in performing the movements of artistic gymnastics.
So, she made a U-turn.
In order to learn swimming and acquire thrilling movements with a high degree of difficulty to be performed in a few seconds from start to entry, she never left the training ground.
As a saying goes, genius means hard work, she finally proved successful in several categories of diving event in the national youth championships held in 2013.
Later, she was selected as a member of the national team and made her debut in the 16th FINA Diving World Championships with a courage and confidence to be a sportsperson beating the world.
In the women’s individual 10m platform diving event she performed thrilling movements with a high degree of difficulty and correct entry and received 397.05 in total points, thus clinching a gold medal.
Afterwards, she bagged four gold medals in the 29th Summer Universiad and won the 17th FINA Diving World Championships, the 18th Asian Games and other international competitions.
As she exalted the dignity and honour of the country in international games, she was honoured to have a photograph taken with the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un.
The state put her forward as a winner of Kim Jong Il Youth Honour Prize and People’s Athlete and invited her as a delegate to the 7th National Conference of Sportspersons and the celebrations of the 70th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.