Hyundai Motors a Hidden Hand in South Korea's Archery Dominance

The chaebol has been credited with providing new technology and fair administration.

Hyundai Motors a Hidden Hand in South Korea's Archery Dominance

Hyundai Motors 현대자동차 has been the main corporate sponsor for South Korea’s archery for 37 years, donating more than KRW 50b (USD 43m) into the sport. Hyundai Motors’ then-president Chung Mong-koo 정몽구 began serving as the chairman for the Korea Archery Association 대한양궁협회 in 1985, and his son Chung Eui-seon 정의선 who took over the company also continued to chair the association since 2005.

Hyundai Motors provided innovative technological assistance to the athletes, such as the automatic shooting machine that would sort out the highest quality arrows. The company also utilized composite materials for automobiles to fashion customized bow grips for each athlete, big data analysis for thousands of shooting motions and their effectiveness, and vision-based heart rate monitor for the coaches to manage the athletes’ calmness during a match.

The younger Chung is credited with adding transparency to the selection and training of the national team members, allowing the athletes to engage in a fair competition without being distracted with the nepotism that plagues much of South Korea’s elite sports. When An San 안산 came under online attacks from sexist trolls while pursuing her third gold medal, Chung phoned her with words of encouragement. After An won the individual event gold on July 30, she ensured Chung, who was in attendance, also had a chance to wear the medal after the ceremony.

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