/ Culture - Art and Sports
Hero Athletes of the DPRK (1)
DPRK Hero Jong Song Ok
  Jong Song Ok was unusually persistent and strenuous. She was born and grew up in Haeju City of South Hwanghae Province. She learned marathon at the then Haeju Sports School.
  She started her career of marathoner at the Amnokgang Sports Team in 1992. She set a high goal and made strenuous efforts under the active guidance and assistance of coaches and medical researchers, renewing her records continuously.
  She trained hard and some days before the Seventh World Athletics Championships, she got seriously injured in her ankle and had to be given a rest cure.
  Receiving treatment under the help of medical researchers, however, she practised abdominal muscle and other physical training for more than two hours every day while enduring serious pain to maintain her physical condition.
  Even in the plane going to Spain with a solemn determination to win a gold medal for the country she did self-training for keeping her physical condition in a quiet place at the dead of night when others were sleeping.
  The women's marathon of the Seventh World Athletics Championships took place in Seville of Spain in August Juche 88(1999) with the participation of more than 2,000 runners from over 200 countries and regions of the world.
  With No. 772 on her chest, she ran and trod on the finish line at 2:26:59, taking the first place. After all, she became the world's queen of marathon.

  When she outstripped all the other runners and breasted the tape, a foreign reporter ran to her and asked about the secret of her victory.
  At this, Jong Song Ok answered without hesitation: "I ran with longing for Kim Jong Il, the great leader of the Korean people. This greatly encouraged me and became the source of my strength."
  In September 1999 the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea awarded her the title of Hero of the DPRK and the title of People's Athlete.
  Afterwards, she graduated from the Korea University of Physical Education. She is now active as the Secretary General of the Athletic Association, devoting herself to training reserve players.
  She has trained a lot of People's Athletes, Merited Athletes and masters of sports.