Hong Un-jong: The North Korean Gymnast Who Took the World by Storm

    Discover the incredible story of hong un-jong, the North Korean gymnast who made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Explore her legacy and impact on the world of gymnastics.


    Hong Un-jong is a name that resonates in the world of gymnastics. Born on March 9, 1989, in Hamgyong Province, North Korea, Hong Un-jong is a retired artistic gymnast who made a name for herself by winning the gold medal in the vault at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Hong is also the first North Korean gymnast to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. She was a prodigy from a young age and went on to become one of the most accomplished gymnasts in the world. In this article, we will take a closer look at the life and career of Hong Un-jong.

    Early Life and Career

    Hong Un-jong was born in a small town in North Korea. She was the second child in her family and was raised by her mother, who was a nurse. Hong’s mother enrolled her in gymnastics at a young age, and she quickly showed a talent for the sport. Hong began training at the Pyongyang Sports Club, one of the most prestigious sports clubs in North Korea.

    Hong’s talent was evident from the beginning, and she quickly rose through the ranks in North Korean gymnastics. She competed in her first international competition, the 2003 East Asian Games, at the age of 14. She won a silver medal in the team event and a bronze medal in the floor exercise. Hong continued to compete in international competitions, and in 2006, she won three gold medals at the Asian Games, becoming the first North Korean gymnast to win multiple gold medals at an international competition.

    Hong’s early career was marked by her exceptional form and technique. She was known for her powerful jumps and her ability to execute difficult routines with ease. Her performances caught the eye of gymnastics enthusiasts around the world, and she became a rising star in the sport.

    Rise to Fame

    Hong Un-jong’s career reached new heights at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She won the gold medal in the vault, becoming the first North Korean gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal. Her performance in the final was breathtaking, as she executed two near-perfect vaults that earned her a score of 15.650, beating her closest rival by a significant margin. Her win was a significant achievement, not just for her but for North Korean gymnastics as a whole.

    Hong continued to compete in international competitions after the Olympics and had several notable achievements. In 2010, she won two gold medals at the World Cup event in Moscow, Russia. She also won two gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, becoming the first North Korean gymnast to win two gold medals at a single world championship.


    Hong Un-jong’s success was not without controversy. In the 2014 Asian Games, Hong won the gold medal in the vault, but her victory was marred by controversy. Many experts and fans believed that her score was inflated and that she did not deserve to win. There were allegations of biased judging and pressure from the North Korean government to ensure Hong’s victory.

    The controversy surrounding Hong’s win at the 2014 Asian Games raised questions about the integrity of gymnastics judging. It also highlighted the political pressures that can influence the sport. Despite the controversy, Hong continued to compete and retired in 2018 after the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Despite the controversies, Hong’s legacy as one of the greatest gymnasts in North Korean history is secure.

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