Athletics Jeon Min-jae Writes a Tearful Letter on his Smartphone

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육상 전민재, 스마트폰 눌러 쓴 눈물의 편지…"파리서 작별"

Athletics Jeon Min-jae Writes a Tearful Letter on his Smartphone... "Farewell from Paris"



The tears of a 46-year-old ‘Smile Racer’… “Athletics was the only way out… I will do my best one last time.”

Tears flowed non-stop from the eyes of Jeon Min-jae (Sports Grade T36, Jeollabuk-do), who came out to the mixed zone after the game.

He sat down in front of the reporters, sobbing, took out his smartphone, converted the letter he had prepared into voice, and handed it to the reporters. 바카라사이트

As soon as the voice of the letter ended, Jeon Min-jae burst into tears that he had been holding back.

Jeon Min-jae crossed the finish line in 15.26 seconds in the women's 100m finals at the 2022 Hangzhou Para Asian Games held at the main stadium of the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in China on the 26th.

She finished first, 0.7 seconds slower than China's Sui Ting (14.56 seconds), but she came in second and took her silver medal.

The start was disappointing.

He started last among the seven players.

However, Jeon Min-jae soon passed the players ahead of him one by one and rose to second place with a last-minute spurt.

Following the 200m finals, this time he failed to surpass the sprint, but it was a great achievement for a 46-year-old athlete to come in second place, beating younger athletes with an average age of 26.

His nickname is ‘Smile Racer’ as he never loses his smile even during the difficult times after finishing a race.

But this day was different.

Instead of smiling, I burst out in tears that I had been holding back for so long.

Jeon Min-jae, who impressed people with a letter written with her feet at the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games, this time put her heart into a smartphone.

Jeon Min-jae, who cannot pronounce his words properly due to encephalitis of unknown origin contracted when he was five years old, conveyed his feelings by pressing each letter on the screen of his smartphone, even though his hands were so twisted that it was difficult to write.

In the letter, he began by saying, ‘Hello, I’m Jeon Min-jae, a track and field athlete.’

He said, ‘Compared to other athletes, my physique is much lower, and while younger athletes are steadily gaining ground, I am frustrated at the situation where my records are stagnant and I am continuously pushed out of the rankings.

I looked back on the past and said, ‘I was disappointed.’

He continued, 'Because I had my own goal, I devoted myself to practicing hard and breathless every day as best as I could.

As a result, I am truly grateful and happy to have this medal around my neck.'

Since 2020, Jeon Min-jae's mother, Han Jae-young, has been in full charge of assisting him with his living and training.

He said, 'My mom must be having a hard time because she's older, but I feel like she's having a hard time because of me, so I'm always thankful and sorry to her.

She said, ‘I want to return the honor of this medal to my mother, who has always been by my side, supporting me and cheering me on.

He then expressed his gratitude to his father, older sister, nephew, director, coach, and church acquaintances.

Born in 1977, at the not-insignificant age of 46, Jeon Min-jae was considering his retirement.

After the 200m final on the 23rd, he said, "After the 100m race, I will decide whether or not to participate in the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games," and announced his decision through this letter three days later.

Jeon Min-jae expressed his determination, saying, 'I was contemplating retirement after the Hangzhou Para-Asian Games, but thanks to the encouragement and persuasion from those around me, I will try to gather strength one last time and run to the Paris Paralympic Games.'

He said, 'Athletics gave me dreams and hope when I was struggling, lonely, and frustrated because I couldn't speak and my hands were uncomfortable.

I would like to say a sad goodbye to track and field and the Paris Paralympic Games, which were my only escape and friends.

He ended his tearful letter by saying, “Once again, I would like to thank everyone who supported me.”

When he was a teenager, he said, "I will only live until I'm 20," but he gained hope through track and field and has now become a 'living legend' in the disabled track and field world.

Jeon Min-jae, who entered the international stage starting with the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, won two silver medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and one silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, setting a shining milestone in the history of Korean disabled sports.

In a letter he wrote in 2014, he said, ‘I will run until 2018.’

He did not give up and ran again in 2023.

Now Jeon Min-jae looks to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

You can watch Jeon Min-jae's gorgeous and touching race in the summer of 2024.

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