Daughter of Olympian becomes the first female gymnast to win a medal for South Korea in Tokyo Games

Yeo Seo-jeong made Korean Olympic history by winning Korea’s first-ever medal in women’s gymnastics as well as being a part of South Korea’s first father-daughter duo to both win Olympic medals. 

Making history: Yeo, 19, took home a bronze medal in women’s vaulting after averaging 14.733 points on Aug. 1, reported the Yonhap News Agency.

  • She earned 9.133 execution points on her vault. Although her landing was not as smooth as her first vault, the three gymnasts that competed after her failed to perform better than her. 
  •  Her father, Yeo Hong-chul, won a silver medal in the vault at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta while representing the Republic of Korea in artistic gymnastics, according to her Olympic profile. 
  • “My first vault was so good that I started thinking too much about matching that with my second vault,” Yeo said. “That’s why I made mistakes. But I have no regrets (about not winning gold). I am satisfied with this result.”
  • While her father is happy that they are Korea’s first father-daughter duo to medal, he stated that he is “happier that she’s the first female gymnast from Korea to win a medal” and that he was “hoping for gold,” but he thinks the “bronze medal will motivate her even more.” 

Namesake move: Yeo placed third in the Olympics after executing a move that was named after her. 

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  • Titled “Yeo Seo-jeong,” it consists of a handspring forward followed by a salto forward with a 720-degree twist. 
  • The move was added to the Code of Points by the International Gymnastics Federation in June 2019 after she first performed it at the 2019 Korea Cup in Jeju, South Korea. 
  • It is a variation of a move her father performed, which ends in a 900-degree twist rather than the 720-degree one. He has two techniques named after him, reported Arirang News.

Gymnastics history: Not only was Yeo’s father a gymnast, but her mother, Kim Yoon-Ji, also represented the Republic of Korea in artistic gymnastics and won a bronze medal at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan.

  • The young gymnast began the sport in 2010 and was inspired by her parents, who built a balance beam on the balcony of their apartment.
  • She trains up to eight hours a day, six days a week and wants to “claim the gold” that her father missed at the 1996 Olympic Games.
  • She has been called the “Princess of Vault,” “Fairy of Vault” and “Crybaby.”

Featured Image via FIG Channel (left) and Seongkwon Bamboo Sohn (right) 

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