Park Tae-Hwan Biography

Swimmer, Athlete(1989–)
South Korean swimming champion Park Tae-Hwan became the first Korean to win a medal in swimming, as well as the first Asian swimmer to win a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle, at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Synopsis

Born on September 27, 1989 in Seoul, South Korea, Olympic swimmer Park Tae-Hwan is the first Korean to win a medal in swimming. He's also the first Asian swimmer to win a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle. In addition to winning gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics, which were held in Beijing, China, he won a silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle. A member of South Korea's swimming team, Tae-Hwan has been deemed a significant competitor for American swimmer Michael Phelps.

Early Life

Olympic swimmer Park Tae-Hwan was born on September 27, 1989 in Seoul, South Korea, and began swimming when he was 5 years old to help control his asthma. A couple of years later, he began competing in junior swimming competitions in Korea. Though he made it to the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in Athens, Greece, Tae-Hwan was disqualified for a false start in the men's 400-meter freestyle preliminary heat.

Olympic Comeback

Shrugging off his disappointment about the 2004 Olympic turnout, Tae-Hwan was back at the games in 2008. Competing for South Korea, he won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, held in Beijing, China, and a silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle.

Tae-Hwan is the first Korean to win a medal in swimming, as well as the first Asian swimmer to win a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle.

After graduating with a degree in physical education from South Korea's Dankook University in February 2012, at the age of 22, Tae-Hwan began training for the 2012 Summer Olympics. He has been deemed a significant competitor for American swimmer Michael Phelps.

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