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Olympian’s parents to receive better housing

A Korean construction company announced on Monday that it would donate a new apartment to gymnastics gold medalist Yang Hak-seon and his family, after reports of their makeshift plastic greenhouse home stormed the media.

Shortly after Yang won Korea’s first gymnastics gold, SM Group announced that it would provide his parents with an apartment in Gwangju that is to be completed next year.
Gymnastics gold medalist Yang Hak-seon’s parents walk out of their makeshift greenhouse home where they have been living for the past two years.( Yonhap News)
Gymnastics gold medalist Yang Hak-seon’s parents walk out of their makeshift greenhouse home where they have been living for the past two years.( Yonhap News)

Yang’s parents, Yang Kwan-kwon and Ki Sook-hyang, have been living in a 150-square-meter plastic greenhouse in Gochang, North Jeolla Province, for the past two years, putting up with blistering summers and freezing winters.

The family was forced to move to the area after it became difficult to make a living in Gwangju and now they farm on a little plot of land, according to reports.

Yang’s parents had considered building a home on the land, but because of financial restraints and the worry that the stress would adversely affect Yang’s performance, the family decided to just bear through it.

According to the parents of the 19-year-old athlete, he has done his best to provide his parents with what little that he has.

During his time training as a national athlete at the Taeneung Athletes’ Village, every month he wired to his parents the 1 million won ($887) in training allowance he received from the government.

Now, Yang will receive 60 million won in prize money from the government and 100 million won from the Korea Gymnastic Association for winning an Olympic gold medal.

He took home Korea’s first ever Olympic gymnastics gold medal in the vault on Monday after pulling off a self-invented move that is named after him.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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