South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na came second, followed by Rep. Chung Mong-joon, former vice president of football’s international governing body FIFA, Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung and Korean Olympic Committee President Park Yong-sung, according to the survey by the newspaper The Daily Sports Seoul.
|Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee|
The paper asked 76 professional and amateur sports officials to choose, rank and score five influential sports figures on a scale of five to one in order of ranking.
The Samsung chairman won first place with a total of 290 points, beating runner-up Kim Yu-na by a wide margin of 127 points.
Chung earned a total of 152 points, followed by Park Ji-sung with 115 points and Park Yong-sung with 107 points.
The title of greatest hero in South Korean sports went to the late Sohn Kee-chung, the winner of the 1936 Berlin Olympics men’s marathon who was forced to compete under the Japanese flag during Tokyo’s colonial rule over Korea.
Sohn won a total of 230 points, followed by Kim Yu-na with 157, Park Ji-sung with 128, Park Chan-ho, a former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher, with 86, and Pak Se-ri, the only South Korean member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, with 81, the survey showed.
The five most honorable moments in South Korean sports were regarded to be the country’s co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Japan during which it advanced to the semi-finals, Sohn’s marathon win, Kim Yu-na’s gold medal win at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Seoul’s hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics during which South Korea ranked fourth in medals, and Pak Se-ri’s U.S. Open win in 1988.