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This week's Nightline invites are with the Tokyo Paralympic athletes who impressed us with their indomitable challenge. Today (July 7th) is with Choi Kwang-geun, the national judo player who won three consecutive medals for the first time in Korean Paralympic judo history.



Q. After returning home from Tokyo… How have you been?



[Kwang-geun Choi / National Judo National Team for the Disabled: There are many congratulations. Sejong City Hall also congratulated me a lot, and now I have had such a time, and now I have a little rest and eat delicious food and live like that.]



Q. I won 3 medals in a row at the Paralympic Games… How do you feel?



[Kwang-Keun Choi/National Paralympic Judo National Team: At first, when I went to the London Olympics, I went out without really knowing anything, and I even won a gold medal, but as the Rio Paralympics and Tokyo Paralympics progressed like this, I also felt a little bit afraid. Thinking about 'I have to protect, I have to protect', I got a little bit of fear, but even to Tokyo, it wasn't a gold medal like this, I couldn't hear the national anthem, but I'm personally very happy and honored to be able to win a good medal.]



Q. 1 Paralympic Games postponed for a year... What was difficult?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo National Representative for the Disabled: It was delayed by one year, so I prepared for the four-year rotation, but I personally felt a lot of atrophy, but somehow, because I had an injury, it could be a time to reinforce that part a little more. Now that I can do it, I am relieved and I can exercise again with a little more heart.]



Q. The moment the bronze medal was confirmed… How did you feel?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo representative for the disabled: I had a match with that athlete just two months ago. But in that match, I lost by one game. I did a lot of research with Won Ji-hyun's national team, so I worked out without a break. But the moment I turned that one page, tears came to my eyes without me knowing. I think I had a better sense of accomplishment than when I was so happy and won a gold medal without realizing it.]



Q. Hugs with an opponent after a fight… What did it mean?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo Representative for the Disabled: I have a deep connection with this athlete. The thing is, in the Rio Paralympics in the previous event, I lost at the world championship before that, but I won at the Olympics. I lost at the championship again and won the Paralympics, so there is something like that, but this player is a very hard worker. So I won, but I was a little close, so I wanted to console you, and now that I have left the competition, I wanted to give it a little hug.]



Q. More than 100kg... Why did you challenge yourself in a new weight class?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo representative for the disabled: First of all, since I suffered a knee injury, the speed part fell a lot, so I was thinking about how I can do it in a better direction. It was built and prepared for it. ]



Q. Judo since childhood… If you look back on the past?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo Representative for the Disabled: At that time, when the doctor said that I had to stop judo, it was a bit difficult, but not giving up at that time seemed to be an opportunity for me in a way, and then I did, but this hurt my eyes. I didn't think it was a disability. I think I was able to hold on for a little while just saying I was injured like this.]



Q. Do you have any goals or dreams you want to achieve in the future?



[Kwang-Geun Choi / National Judo representative for the disabled: I want to play a role that can help juniors based on the career of this disabled judo athlete I have experienced, and to have such an influence that can be helpful in promoting sports and judo for the disabled. It is my goal and it is.]



(Source: Korea Association for the Induction of the Disabled)  

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