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‘Hong Ten’ Kim’s legend continues as he carries the flag at the closing ceremony
Hailed as a “legendary b-boy,” Kim Hong-yeol (Hong10) carried the national flag at the closing ceremony of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
Kim Hong-yeol, the flag bearer for the South Korean team, waved the national flag at the closing ceremony of the Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province on Monday afternoon.
Once considered a “dancer” rather than an athlete, Kim’s appearance as a flag bearer for his country is symbolic of the breaking discipline’s emergence into the “sports” realm.
Breaking, which will become an Olympic sport in Paris in 2024, made its debut at the Asian Games through this competition.
Kim Hong-yeol, who started breaking in middle school by copying a friend’s dance moves, is widely known overseas as Hong Ten.
Kim Hong-yeol started competing internationally as a b-boy in 2001 at the age of 16 and has remained at the top of his game for 22 years, making him one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport.
In 2006, he became the first South Korean to win the most prestigious international event, the Red Bull B.C.O.P. Final, defeating the world’s best in a row, and seven years later, he won again, creating a new chapter in Korean breaking history.
At 38 years old and born in 1985, Kim is still not tired. In June 2021, he fought 10 opponents in a row at a tournament in Las Vegas, USA, and beat them all.
While his opponents weren’t as good as the ones he’ll face at the Hangzhou Asian Games, he still had the stamina and enthusiasm to go through more than 20 minutes of intense breaking against 10 opponents.
To be recognized as a top-level player in breaking, you need to have your own signature technique that shows originality. Kim’s signature technique is the “Hongten Freeze”.
A freeze is a technique that involves holding your body steady in a specific motion. There are many different types of freezes, but the most famous is the “Hongten Freeze,” which is a near-magical trick that involves standing upside down using only two fingers.
For Kim, who is now in his late 30s, it was a challenge to compete in the event against up-and-comers and powerhouses from around the world, but he came away with a valuable silver medal.
It was the only medal won by the Korean breaking team at the tournament.
After defeating Amir Zakhirov (Kazakhstan) in the quarterfinals and Issin Hishikawa (Japan) in the semifinals, Kim fell short of the gold medal in the final on July 7, losing to Japan’s Shigeyuki Nakarai (Shigekix), born in 2002, with a round-robin score of 1-2 (4-5 3-6 6-3).
Nakarai, the defending champion who goes by the stage name “Shigekix,” was the flag bearer for the Japanese team, as was Kim.
Kim was disappointed as he could have defeated Nakarai with just one more vote in the first round.
“The more I think about it, the more disappointed I am,” he told Yonhap News Agency in the joint press area after the race, and he’s already looking ahead to next year’s Paris Olympics.
“This year, I’ll be competing in the Red Bull BTC One Finals in two weeks. “My goal is the Olympics,” he said. “After that, I’ll need a break, but I’m looking forward to it. After that, I’ll need to rest, but until then, I’m running.” 안전놀이터