Korean Athlete Finds and Shares Success Through Sports

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As a child, Wonsang had behavioral and other problems associated with intellectual disability. Eventually, his family found that sports calmed him and helped him find focus.

A new, hopeful life emerged. Now Wonsang of Korea is an experienced athlete who’s competed all around the world, including the 2013 Special Olympics World Games, plus the 2012 and 2016 International Paralympic Games. He’s an impressive cross-country skier -- and also a world-class swimmer repeatedly ranked at No. 3 in in the 200m freestyle.

Sports have also helped Wonsang learn to relate to others. He’s found a new calling as a patient, gentle swimming instructor for people with disabilities. He says sports are a powerful way to change perceptions of the talents and abilities of people with ID. He saw this at the last World Games in Korea, which brought a “huge change.”

For the first time, the way "[people] looked at us changed dramatically. I was really proud of who I am ...one of the happiest moments in my life."