LG boss gives cash award of W500 mil. to gymnast

Koo Bon-moo

LG Group will provide a cash award of 500 million won (about $444,000) to gymnast Yang Hak-seon, who became a national hero after overcoming poverty to win a gold medal at the London Summer Olympics.

Yang, Korea’s first gymnast ever to win an Olympic gold, is now the recipient of a number of corporate gifts.

A Gwangju-based builder, SM Group, promised to give his family a new apartment after its completion next year, because they have been living in a vinyl greenhouse in Gochang, North Jeolla Province. Snackmaker Nongshim sent the family 100 boxes of instant noodles.

Additionally, The Korean Olympic Committee will give Yang 60 million won, and the Korea Gymnastic Association 100 million won. LG officials said that Chairman Koo Bon-moo was touched by Yang’s personal story.

Yang Hak-seon

“The money is intended to relieve Yang of some of his financial worries and allow him to focus on training,’’ said LG spokeswoman Kim Min-jeong.

“LG will remain a steady supporter of Yang. He overcame all difficulties and finally got the gold medal. This is a touching story,’’ Koo said in an e-mailed news release.

Yang has established himself as a world-class gymnast since winning the gold at the 2010 Asian Games. His signature somersault move, which he first displayed at the World Championships last year, has been named after him.

Koo is the first among the nation’s top business tycoons to give such a gift to the gymnast. LG said Chairman Koo will schedule a meeting with Yang when he returns home from London. <The Korea Times/Kim Yoo-chul>


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