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Um Hong-gil inducted into Korea’s Sports Hall of Fame

Nov 02,2019
Mountaineer Um Hong-gil, the first person to climb the 16 highest peaks in the world, has been selected for induction into Korea’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) announced Um as its latest “Sports Hero” on Thursday. His induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 26.

Um beat out former Olympic short track champion Chun Lee-kyung and late Asian Games swimming champion Cho Oh-ryun for the honor, following a vote by sports journalists and the general public.

The KSOC said Um, 59, has been a source of inspiration for the nation, noting that the climber “overcame human limits with his indomitable will.”

Um has scaled Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, three times. In 2001, he became the ninth climber to reach the top of 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) in the Himalayas, collectively called “eight-thousanders.”

He later stood on the top of Yalung Kang (8,505 meters) in 2004 and Lhotse Shar (8,400 meters) in 2007, becoming the first to climb the world’s 16 highest points.

The KSOC opened its Hall of Fame in 2011, and it has honored 12 athletes and administrators so far, including 1936 Olympic marathon gold medalist Sohn Kee-chung, 2010 Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna and football legend Cha Bum-kun.