Imagen
 Jo Gi Seoung of South Korea celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's 50m Freestyle -S4 Final on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Giseong Jo

Swimming
3

Giseong Jo first rose to international prominence at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games at home in South Korea, winning gold in the 200m freestyle S4 and a series of other podium finishes.

Less than a year later, when he entered the pool at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, all eyes were on him.

Inspired to take up Para swimming by the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Jo went on to win two world titles in 100m and 200m freestyle S4 in Championship record time.

He also took silver in the 50m freestyle.

On his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016, Jo proved himself to be the man to beat, claiming three titles and beating established names such as Mexican Paralymic champion Gustavo Sanchez in the 200m freestyle.

Jo will be a concern to Sanchez as he goes for gold at his home World Championships in Mexico City from 30 September, 2017.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S4, SB3, SM4

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Korean

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age 12.
Why this sport?
He became interested in the sport after watching Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan win gold in the 400m freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A coach encouraged him to take up the sport, which was also beneficial for his rehabilitation.
Club / Team
Busan Para Sports Association: Korea

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Korea
Tournament
Asian Para Games
Location
Incheon, KOR

General interest

Hobbies
Watching baseball. (news.joins.com, 31 Jan 2020)
Most influential person in career
His parents and his sister. (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020; koreatimes.com, 10 Sep 2016)
Hero / Idol
Korean Para swimmer Lim Woo-Geun, Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan. (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020; munhwa.com, 10 Oct 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I never looked at any other sport. Because swimming was the door through which I communicated with the world. I think it gave me confidence and a bright personality." (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020)
Awards and honours
He carried the Olympic torch during the relay for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (hankookilbo.com, 06 Nov 2017)

In 2017 he was presented with the Order of Sports Merit Cheongnyong [Blue Dragon] Medal by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the Korea Sports Awards. At the same event, he also won the Overcoming Award. (dtnews24.com, 20 Oct 2017; seoul.co.kr, 13 Oct 2017; Instagram profile, 01 Jan 2021)

In 2017 he received the Outstanding Para Athlete Award at the Coca Cola Sports Awards in the Republic of Korea. (bokjinews.com, 14 Feb 2017)

He received the Best Athlete Award at the 2015 National Para Games in the Republic of Korea. (mews.mk.co.kr, 01 Nov 2015)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo before retiring from the Korean national team. (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020; news.joins.com, 31 Jan 2020)
Impairment
He was born with cerebral palsy. (gg.go.kr, 05 Nov 2013)
Other information
RETIREMENT PLANS
He says he plans to retire from international competition after the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. He took a break from his studies at Korea Nazarene University in Cheonan to focus on preparing for the Games. "After finishing the first semester of my fourth year in 2019, I took a leave of absence and went all-in to prepare for the Paralympics. It's difficult, but I try to think positively. Delaying the Games by one year may be a good thing. I will do my best with the thought that it is my last Paralympics." (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020; sports.chosun.com, 31 Mar 2020)

AMBITION
He hopes to become a psychologist after retiring from competitive Para swimming. "I'm thinking of studying for a masters' degree in psychology. I want to help people take their anxieties out of their heart. Not to avoid them but to overcome them." (webzine.koreanpc.kr, 01 Aug 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Intermediate Time 2015-07-13 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2015-07-13 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-13 1
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2015-07-14 2
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-15 2
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-16 1
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2015-07-16 1
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final 1 2015-07-18 8
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Heat 1 2015-07-18 8
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-08 1
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2016-09-08 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2016-09-13 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-13 1
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-17 1