Recently, a former national table tennis athlete Seo Hyo Won appeared on E Channel's show 'Playful Sister' (literal translation) and spoke about her time as an active athlete.
Born as the eldest child in Gyeonggi City, Seo Hyo Won revealed that she started playing table tennis because her elementary PE teacher told her she will get a snack if she does exercise. That's how she began playing table tennis and even became the national athlete of Korea. After, Seo Hyo Won became famous for being known as the pretty table tennis player in Korea.
In this episode, the table tennis athlete talked about the difficult times she had while she was training to become the national athlete for Korea. In 2006, when she was a senior in High School, she was diagnosed with a back disk and was distraught thinking her life as an athlete was over. However, after one year of rehabilitation, she was able to make a successful comeback.
Yet, things didn't get better. Another ordeal came to the young athlete in 2008. The table tennis team that she had joined had to disband due to financial difficulty. Seo Hyo Won had no other teams to go to since she was not able to make the World's Top 100 Athletes list. However, the legendary tennis player Hyun Jung Hwa gave Seo Hyo Won a chance to go on the world tour together.
Through this chance, Seo Hyo Won was able to participate in the Korea Open Table Tennis Championship in 2011. Seo Hyo Won made headlines at the time as she won against Ishikawa Kasumi, during the 32nd round between Korea and Japan. She had also gained much attention for her pretty looks and exceptional skills.
However, Seo Hyo Won gained even more attention from China rather than Korea since table tennis sports were more popular in China. Seo Hyo Won was selected as a member of the national team in 2013 and made her name known in China as she became the ace in the national team.
China also took interest in her appearance and for her beauty as various pictorials of the athlete spread across Weibo. In China, she became known as the 'Table Tennis Goddess'.
In 2015, Seo Hyo Won was also featured on the cover of the popular male magazine, Maxim Magazine. She even became the model for a coffee brand at that time.
Making her first Olympic appearance at the age of 30, Seo Hyo Won is still active as a table tennis player currently, at the age of 34. Seo Hyo Won stated she never regretted becoming an athlete but regrets not spending more time with her father who died of cancer.