Hong Un-jong

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Hong Un-jong
Full nameHong Un-jong
Country represented North Korea
Born (1989-03-09) 9 March 1989 (age 30)
Hamgyong, North Korea[1]
Height1.55 m (5 ft 1 in)
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior international
ClubPyongyang Sports Club
Head coach(es)Kim Chun-phil
Assistant coach(es)Choe Kyong-hui
ChoreographerKim Chun-phil
Hong Un-jong
Revised RomanizationHong Eunjeong
McCune–ReischauerHong Ŭnjŏng

Hong Un-jong (Korean홍은정; Hanja洪恩情; born 9 March 1989) is a North Korean artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic champion and 2014 World Champion on vault. She was the first North Korean female gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics.[2]


She was an individual event finalist on the vault at the 2007 World Championships and the bronze medalist on the event at the 2006 Asian Games.

Hong represented North Korea at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she won the gold medal in the women's vault competition. This was the first Olympic medal for a North Korean woman in Olympic gymnastics.[2]

Hong won the gold medal in vault at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan (tied with Russian gymnast Ksenia Afanasyeva) and is the bronze medalist on vault at the 2013 World Championships.

The following year she won the vault final at the World Championships. She performed the two most difficult vaults in the final.[3] In 2015 Hong again represented North Korea at the World Championships held in Glasgow. Though she retained her full difficulties and performed impressively, she failed to defend her title and won a silver medal instead. She was behind Russia's Maria Paseka by 0.033 point. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she qualified second into vault finals behind Simone Biles. In the finals she performed a solid Cheng to start. For her second vault, she became the first female gymnast to ever attempt a triple twisting yurchenko vault; however she under rotated and sat down the vault, getting the vault devalued to an Amanar, and ultimately missed the podium.

Age controversy[edit]

Hong Un-jong is the twin sister of Hong Su-jong, with whom she shares a 9 March birthday. Hong Su-jong had three different birth dates listed for her (1985, 1986, or 1989) at various competitions.[4] At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she competed under the 1985 birth date, but the 1989 birth date would have meant that she was too young to compete.[5] In November 2010 Hong Su-jong was banned from all competition out of North Korea for inconsistent age information for two years. North Korea was also banned from all international competition until October 2012 due to this incident, and North Korea could not send any gymnasts to the 2012 Summer Olympics.[6]

Competitive history[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2005 East Asian Games 3rd
2006 Asian Championships 2nd 1st
Asian Games DQ 3rd
World Championships 4th
2008 Maribor World Cup 1st 4th
Olympic Games 1st
2009 Summer Universiade DQ 1st 3rd
World Championships N/A 5th
2010 Moscow World Cup 1st 6th
2011 North Korea banned from international competition
2013 Summer Universiade 1st
World Championships N/A 3rd
East Asian Games 3rd 1st 7th 6th
2014 Osijek World Cup 8th
Asian Games 2nd 1st
World Championships 1st
World Championships 2nd
Olympic Games 6th


  1. ^ "Hong Un-Jong". sports-reference. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "North Korea Gymnastics". sports-reference. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Simone Biles denied third gold". ESPN. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  4. ^ Turner, Amanda (30 September 2010). "North Korean Gymnast's Age Under Dispute". International Gymnast Magazine. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  5. ^ "One Woman, Three Birthdays". The New York Times. The Associated Press. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  6. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: North Korean gymnasts suspended for age falsification". The Telegraph. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2015.

External links[edit]