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Gold medalist Lee In Kook of South Korea and Bronze medalist Takuya Tsugawa of Japan pose on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Men's 100m Backstroke - S14 Final on day 1 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Inkook Lee

Swimming
1

South Korea’s InKook Lee finally broke his 100m backstroke S14 hoodoo at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Four years earlier, at London 2012, he had qualified as the fastest man from his heat but was disqualified from the final after arriving late to the call room.

He also struggled to reach the top of the podium at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, losing out in 2013 to the Netherlands’ Marc Evers, the Paralympic champion. He even broke the world record in the heats, before it was lowered by Russia’s Viacheslav Emeliantsev in the final on his way to gold.

But at Rio 2016 the glory was all his and he was in such good form that he broke the Paralympic record in the heats and finals.

Lee has his mother to thank for his success. Wanting him to overcome his fear of water, she took Lee swimming and at London 2012 he was the youngest member of the South Korean team at the age of 17.

He has been recognised for his achievements nationally via various awards and will look to add the backstroke world title to his collection in Mexico City in 2017.

 

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Intellectual impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S14, SB14, SM14

Further personal information

Residence
Ansan, KOR
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Korean

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming in his second year of primary school in Ansan, Republic of Korea.
Why this sport?
His mother Bae Sook-Hee wanted him to overcome his fear of water, so she took him to a swimming centre.
Club / Team
Ansan Para Sports Association: Korea

International debut

Year
2011
Competing for
Korea
Location
Italy

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the S14 100m backstroke at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and setting a Paralympic record. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Most influential person in career
His father Lee Kyung-Rae. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Hero / Idol
Actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do my best in order to become the best." (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours
In 2018 he was a torch bearer during the relay for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (kyeonggi.com, 04 Mar 2018)

In 2017 he received a Cheongryong Medal, the highest order of sport merit by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Republic of Korea. (kyeonggi.com, 25 Oct 2017)

In 2015 he was presented with the President's Award by the Gyeonggi-Do Sports Association for the Disabled in the Republic of Korea. (gnews.gg.go.kr, 31 Dec 2015)

In 2013 he received the Korean Talent Prize from the Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity [KOFAC]. (kyeongin.com, 19 Dec 2013)

He received the Best Para Athlete Award at the 2013 Gyeonggi Athletes Grand Awards Ceremony in the Republic of Korea. (kgnews.co.kr, 10 Dec 2013)

In 2012 he was given the Best Para Athlete Award by the Ansan Para Sports Association in the Republic of Korea. (gnews.gg.go.kr, 30 Dec 2015)
Ambitions
To compete in at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. He wants to take up wushu after the 2020 Games. (skyedaily.com, 09 Jan 2018; kyeonggi.com, 25 Oct 2017)
Impairment
He has autism. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)

Results

Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Heat 1 2012-08-31 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 3 2012-09-02 7
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Final 1 2013-08-12 6
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 2 2013-08-12 5
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Final 1 2013-08-14 2
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Heat 1 2013-08-14 1
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Final 1 2015-07-15 8
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 1 2015-07-15 4
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Heat 2 2015-07-19 1
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Final 1 2015-07-19 2
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Final Round 2016-09-08 1
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Heat 2 2016-09-08 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Heat 3 2016-09-11 4
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM14 Heat 2 2016-09-17 4
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S14 Final 1 2017-12-05 2
Men's 100 m Backstroke S14 Heat 2 2017-12-06 9999
Men's 100 m Butterfly S14 Final 1 2017-12-07 1
Men's 100 m Butterfly S14 Heat 2 2017-12-07 1