Son Yeon Jae Announces Her Retirement From Rhythmic Gymnastics

Son Yeon Jae will be hanging up her ribbons and hoops.

The rhythmic gymnast made the announcement through her Instagram account on February 18. Along with a photo of herself at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Son Yeon Jae reminisced about the moment and wrote, “I was so happy to be done, and I had done so much till the end. But I was overcome with emotions. Not because I had any regrets. I didn’t have even the smallest of regrets. I am so grateful and happy because I know how meaningful the past 17 years have been to me, and because I know how much I’ve learned and grown.

끝나서 너무행복했고 끝내기 위해서 달려왔다. 그래도 울컥한다. 아쉬움이 남아서가 아니다. 조금의 후회도 남지 않는다. 17년동안의 시간들이 나에게 얼마나 의미있었고 내가 얼마나 많이 배우고 성장했는지 알기에 너무나 감사하고 행복하다. 나는 단순히 운동만한게 아니다. 더 단단해졌다. 지겹고 힘든 일상들을 견뎌내면서 노력과 비례하지않는 결과도 받아들이는 법을 배우고 당장이 아닐지라도 어떠한 형태로든 노력은 결국 돌아온다는 믿음이 생겼다. 끝까지 스스로를 몰아붙이기도 하고 그 어떤 누구보다도 내 자신을 믿는 방법을 배웠다. 지금부터 모든 것들이 새로울 나에게 리듬체조를 통해 배운 것들은 그 어떤 무엇보다 나에게 가치있고 큰 힘이 될거라 믿는다. 은은하지만 단단한 사람이 화려하지않아도 꽉 찬사람이 이제는 나를 위해서 하고싶은것들 해보고싶었던 것들 전부 다 하면서 더 행복할 수 있다고 믿는다. 그리고 지금까지 나와 같이 걸어준 모든 사람들에게 감사하고 또 감사합니다.

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She added, “I wasn’t just doing a sport. I became stronger. I overcame a tedious and tiring daily routine, I learned how to accept results that didn’t always reflect the amount of effort I put in, and I began to believe that hard work will always be rewarded, but not always immediately. I pushed myself till my breaking point, and learned how to believe in myself. I believe that everything I’ve learned through rhythmic gymnastics will be valuable and a great source of strength for me as I embark on a new journey.”

Son Yeon Jae concluded her remarks with, “A soft but strong person, a simple but complete person. I believe that from now on, I will be even happier doing all the things I want to do and have wanted to do. Thank you to all the people who have walked by my side till now.”

Son Yeon Jae 2

Her agency stated, “Son Yeon Jae has decided not to participate in the rhythmic gymnastics national team selection process, which will take place this March. She has decided to retire.”

The rhythmic gymnast is one of the most well-known sports figures in Korea, being the first Korean rhythmic gymnast to place in the Top 10 finals in the Olympics and win the World Championships.

Congratulations to Son Yeon Jae on all her achievements and we wish her all the best!

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