Taehwan Park at the Incheon Asian games
|National team||South Korea|
September 27, 1989 |
Seoul, South Korea
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||163 lb (74 kg)|
|Club||Incheon City Government|
|College team||Dankook University|
|Revised Romanization||Bak Tae-hwan|
Park Tae-hwan (Korean: 박태환, born September 27, 1989) is a South Korean competitive swimmer who is an Olympic gold medalist and world champion. He has four Olympic medals, two world titles, and 20 Asian Games medals. He won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle and a silver in the 200-meter freestyle events at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He also won two silver medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle. He is the first Asian swimmer to claim a gold medal in the men's 400-meter freestyle, and the first Korean to win an Olympic medal in swimming. He is known for his impressive range and versatility, as he is able to compete at international level in 100-, 200-, 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle. He is the first swimmer to swim under 49 seconds in 100-meter freestyle and under 15 minutes in 1,500-meter freestyle. He remained as the only person to have such impressive range until Sun Yang joined the club in 2013. He was hit by a steroid scandal as prosecutors confirmed on January 27, 2015 that he tested positive in a doping test because he took Nebido, a relatively new anabolic steroid.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Difficulties
- 3 Career
- 3.1 Early career
- 3.2 2006 World Championships
- 3.3 2006 Asian Games
- 3.4 2006 Pan Pacific Championships
- 3.5 2007 World Championships
- 3.6 2007 FINA Swimming World Cup
- 3.7 2008 Summer Olympics
- 3.8 2009 World Championships
- 3.9 2010 Pan Pacific Championships
- 3.10 2010 Asian Games
- 3.11 2011 World Championships
- 3.12 2012 Summer Olympics
- 3.13 2014 Pan Pacific Championships
- 3.14 2014 Asian Games
- 3.15 2016 Summer Olympics
- 4 Personal bests
- 5 References
- 6 External links
His father is a saxophone player and his mother is a dancer. He currently serves as a goodwill ambassador for 'Dynamic Korea', South Korea's international image-making campaign, alongside international figure skater Kim Yuna. Park Tae-hwan is one of Asia's top men's freestyle swimmers. He was voted Most Valuable Player at the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar where he won seven medals including three gold. The 22-year-old trains in Melbourne and is also a Pan Pacific Champion. He was voted Swimming World's Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year in 2006.
Park, as an Olympic and Asian Games medalist, has been granted an exemption from two years of mandatory military service, however is still required to undergo four weeks of basic training, which he reported for on October 4, 2012.
Park faced many financial difficulties as an athlete. SK Telecom had sponsored Park from 2007 to 2012 but when his contract expired in 2012, SK Telecom decided to discontinue their sponsorship. Park was left to support his own athletic career for half a year. In the same year, Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) refused to give Park his 50 million won (approximately $44,950 USD) for winning two silver medals in the London Olympics. He received this award money in 2014. In 2013, it was revealed that Park did not have a swimming pool to train in. Within Seoul, there were only 7 swimming pools with a 50-meter lane, the international standard. These pools were either all booked or did not fulfill basic conditions like the water temperature which made it impossible to train in. In March 2013, Park signed with the Incheon Metropolitan City’s swimming team. Park has since been receiving an annual salary from the city.
Park began swimming at the age of 5 when his doctor suggested it would be good for his asthma. He began his competitive swimming career at the age of 7, earning several medals in junior competitions. This early success led to Park's selection to the Korean Swimming Federation as a national team member in 2003. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, which was his first ever international competition, however, Park was disqualified for a false start in the preliminary heat of the men's 400-meter freestyle. Park later confessed that he was so disappointed with himself about the mistake, but it motivated him to work hard on starts, and he now has one of the fastest reaction times among top elite swimmers, consistently posting under 0.70 of a second. Shortly thereafter at the 2004 FINA Swimming World Cup, Park was the runner-up in the men's 400-meter freestyle event.
2006 World Championships
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Silver Medal||3:40.43|
|Men's 1500m freestyle||Silver Medal||14:33.28|
The 8th FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) swam April 5–9, 2006 at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in Shanghai, China.
2006 Asian Games
|Men's 100 m freestyle||Silver Medal||50.02|
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Gold Medal||1:47.12 (AS)|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:48.44|
|Men's 1500 m freestyle||Gold Medal||14:55.03 (AS)|
|Men's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay||Bronze Medal||3:22.16|
|Men's 4 × 200 m freestyle relay||Bronze Medal||7:23.61|
|Men's 4 × 100 m medley relay||Bronze Medal||3:41.33|
The Swimming competition at the 2006 Asian Games took place December 2–9 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha, Qatar. It featured 38 events (19 male, 19 female), all conducted in a long course (50m) pool. Park continued his competitive success in subsequent years, most notably at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, where he won three golds, one silver and three bronze medals, the most medals won by a single athlete at the Games. He also set two Asian Records. For his success, Park was named an Athlete of the Games.
2006 Pan Pacific Championships
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Silver Medal||1:47.51|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:45.72|
|Men's 1500m Freestyle||Gold Medal||15:06.11|
The tenth edition of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a long course (50 m) event, was held in 2006 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, from August 17–20. At this event, Park won two gold medals (in the 1500 meter freestyle and the 400 meter freestyle) and one silver medal (200 m freestyle).
Park was named the 2006 Pacific Rim Male Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine, beating out Olympic medalist (and 2005 awardee) Australian Grant Hackett for the honor.
2007 World Championships
|200 m freestyle||Bronze Medal||1:46:73 (AS)|
|400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:44:30 (AS)|
The Swimming competition at the 12th FINA World Aquatics Championships was held in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, from 25 March to 1 April 2007. This portion of the 2007 Worlds featured 40 events (20 for males, 20 for females), all swum in a long course (50 m) pool.
2007 FINA Swimming World Cup
|Sydney||2 + 3 November 2007||Men's 200 m freestyle||Gold Medal||1:43.38|
|Sydney||2 + 3 November 2007||Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:39.99|
|Sydney||2 + 3 November 2007||Men's 1500 m freestyle||Gold Medal||14:49.94|
|Stockholm||13 + 14 November 2007||Men's 200 m freestyle||Gold Medal||1:43.87|
|Stockholm||13 + 14 November 2007||Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:42.14|
|Stockholm||13 + 14 November 2007||Men's 1500 m freestyle||Gold Medal||14:36.42|
|Berlin||17 + 18 November 2007||Men's 200 m freestyle||Gold Medal||1:42.22|
|Berlin||17 + 18 November 2007||Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:36.68|
|Berlin||17 + 18 November 2007||Men's 1500 m freestyle||Gold Medal||14:34.39|
Park won triple gold at the FINA Swimming World Cup 2007 in Berlin. This was his third consecutive triple crown after bringing three golds home in the third leg of the Cup in Sydney and another three in the fifth in Stockholm. Park's record in the 200-meter freestyle is threatening the world record of 1:41.10 set by Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe in February 2000.
2008 Summer Olympics
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Silver Medal||1:44.85|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:41.86|
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Park won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle event and a silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle event. His winning time of 3:41.86 made him the second fastest man ever in this distance in history, only behind then-world record holder Ian Thorpe whose time was 3:40.08. In swimming 1:44.85 in the 200-meter freestyle final, Park joined Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, and Pieter van den Hoogenband as the only men to have ever swum under 1:45 in the event.
2009 World Championships
|Date (in Rome)||Event||Results||Time|
|July 26||400 m freestyle||12th place||3:46.04|
|July 28||200 m freestyle||13th place||1:46.68|
|August 1||1500 m freestyle||9th place||15:00.87|
At the 2009 World Aquatics Championships held in Rome, Italy, Park surprised many after failing to qualify to swim in the finals of the 200- and 400-meter freestyle. Some blame Park's poor performance on his decision to wear Speedo's LZR Racer in the championships.
2010 Pan Pacific Championships
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Silver Medal||1:46.27|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:44.73|
The eleventh edition of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, also known as the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a long course (50 m) event, was held in Irvine, California, United States, from August 18–22.
2010 Asian Games
|Men's 100 m freestyle||Gold Medal|
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Gold Medal (AS)|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal|
|Men's 1500 m freestyle||Silver Medal|
|Men's 4 × 100 m medley relay||Silver Medal|
|Men's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay||Bronze Medal|
|Men's 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay||Bronze Medal|
2011 World Championships
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:42.04|
The swimming portion of the 2011 FINA World Championships was held July 24–31 at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
2012 Summer Olympics
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Silver Medal||1:44.93|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Silver Medal||3:42.06|
During the 400-meter qualifying heat race, Park was initially disqualified for a false start, which was wrongfully called. Shortly after the South Korean Federation met with the FINA bureau the ruling was successfully overturned and Park was reinstated into the race. FINA was unable to explain why the judge on the pool deck called it a false start, and a FINA official called the wrong call as a "human error maybe." He won silver in the finals of the 400-meter race.
In his third and final event, 1500-meter freestyle, Park posted a South Korean record of 14:50.61, but missed the podium by a 10.3-second margin behind defending Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia.
2014 Pan Pacific Championships
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Gold Medal||3:43.15|
The 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, also known as the 2014 Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a long course (50 m) event, was held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, from 21 to 25 August 2014. In this event, Tae Hwan Park became the first man to ever win the 400-meter free Pan Pacs title three straight times (2006, 2010, 2014) as he put up a 3:43.15 in the finale. Not only is Park the first to win the title three straight times with titles in 2006 and 2010, he’s also the first three-time winner period. He broke a tie with Ian Thorpe (1999, 2002) with his victory tonight.
2014 Asian Games
|Men's 200 m freestyle||Bronze Medal||1:45.85|
|Men's 4 × 200 m freestyle relay||Bronze Medal||7:18.37|
|Men's 400 m freestyle||Bronze Medal||3:48.33|
Park, a national icon who remains the only South Korean with an Olympic swimming gold, had previously argued that a Seoul-based doctor named Kim had given him an injection without fully disclosing that it could contain a banned substance. The doctor was later indicted on charges of professional negligence and will stand trial next month. FINA also stripped Park of all medals earned after September 3. The suspension cost Park six medals he captured at the Incheon Asian Games, when all swimming races were held at an arena bearing Park's name. Three of those medals came in relays, and Park's teammates in those races will lose their medals because of Park's suspension.
2016 Summer Olympics
In July 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Park would be eligible for the Olympics, after the Korean Olympic Committee had intended to ban Park from representing the national team after his doping ban ended. That doping ban, following a positive test for testosterone in 2014, had ended several months before the Olympics. The Korean Olympic Committee will add Park to the Olympic team.
- 100m 48.42 (2014) Swimming at New South Wales Championships Final; won a bronze medal
- 200m 1:44.80 (2010) 2010 Asian Games Final; won a gold medal
- 400m 3:41.53 (2010) 2010 Asian Games Final; won a gold medal
- 1500m 14:47.38 (2012) Swimming at a race in Sydney
- Marine Boy, will become the first Gold medalist?(Korean), Korean Sports Council, Retrieved on August 4, 2008
- "Park Tae-hwan Biography and Olympic Results". http://www.sports-reference.com: Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
- Hye-min, Chung. "Prosecutors confirm Park Tae-hwan took steroid". The Korea Observer. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Olympic swim champ Park eyes academic future, Yahoo! UK, Retrieved on February 13, 2012
- Swimmer Park Tae-hwan as Dynamic Korea, Korea.net, Retrieved on November 24, 2007
- "Park Tae-hwan Enters Army Boot Camp". Chosun Ilbo. October 5, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Dynamic Koreans of the year: Kim Yoon-A, Park Tae-hwan, Korea.net, Retrieved on December 10, 2007
- Athletes; Taehwan Park, Yahoo.com. Retrieved on August 15, 2004.
- Doha 2006 - Athletes of the Games
- 'Marine Boy' Park Tae-hwan Continues Winning Streak
- Park Tae-hwan Is Too Young to Give Up, Retrieved on July 30, 2009
- Park Tae-hwan Trounced in 200-m Freestyle, Retrieved on July 30, 2009
- Park Tae-Hwan exits in world championship heats, Retrieved on July 30, 2009
- "Olympic swimming: China's Sun Chang beats rival Park to gold". Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- "2012 London Olympics: Yannick Agnel Earns Second Gold of Meet With 200 Free Triumph; Posts Textile Best; Lochte Out of the Medals". Swimming World Magazine. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Agnel claims gold in 200m freestyle as Renwick trails home in sixth". Daily Mail. July 30, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- "2012 London Olympics: Sun Yang Averts Potential False Start Disaster for Relentless World Record in 1500 Free; Ryan Cochrane Second, Ous Mellouli Third; USA's Connor Jaeger Takes Sixth". Swimming World Magazine. August 4, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- 2014 Tae Hwan Park Vaults to Top of World in 400 Free With 3rd Straight Win (Pan Pacific Championships Results)
- "Park Tae-Hwan's Additional Doping Ban Overturned; Rio Bound". Swimming World. July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Park Tae-hwan.|
- Official Webpage by Korean Sports Council (Korean)
- Athletes' bio of Park Tae-hwan, provided by NBCOlympics.com
- Park Tae-hwan at FINA.org
|World Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year