“But is it better to be motivated considering the military service benefits?” A Reuters reporter constantly asks Korean swimmers who participated in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Although the Asian Games seem like a far-off festival for Westerners, you can often meet reporters in Asia from overseas news agencies such as AP, Reuters, and AFP. When they meet Korean reporters about where they heard it, they often ask for military service benefits given to Asian Games gold medal winners. He didn’t seem to understand that the system of mandatory military service was unfamiliar and that he would release this duty if he performed well in sports games.
An American AP reporter said, “Didn’t all five teams like Faker (Lee Sang-hyuk) go to the military while watching the e-sports LoL (League of Legends) together?” and added, “Readers are interested in the Korean military service system.” A foreign reporter was also well aware that Son Heung-min (31) stopped playing in the league to benefit from military service at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and that sports players receive military service benefits if they raise their national status in international competitions, while K-pop star BTS (BTS) members around the world are also arguing in Korea about joining the military because they did not receive such benefits.
Korean players were somewhat embarrassed by the unusual interest of foreign reporters. Baek In-cheol (23), the winner of the men’s 50m butterfly, said, “The military service is not without disruption to his career. “There is an advantage to make my career a little longer,” he replied. “Choby” Jung Ji-hoon (22), an e-sports LoL gold medalist, said, “I’m grateful that I was born well in the times. I respect those who go to the military,” he said. The mockery is also mixed. The British Daily Mail wrote about Jung Chul-won (27), who missed the gold medal by 0.01 second while rejoicing at the last minute in the men’s 3,000-meter relay, “I was so happy that I had to serve in the military for 18 months,” adding, “So they were frowning on the podium even though they won the silver medal.” 경마사이트
The military service exemption system for arts and sports personnel was introduced in 1973. It was a motivation to promote Korean names that did not exist in the world society, and the number was not large. In terms of sports alone, the grand prize in the early days included Olympic medals, world championships, as well as the top three Asian championships, and even the top three at the Universiade. Then, the scope gradually narrowed, and from 1990, it was limited to within the third place in the Olympics and the first place in the Asian Games. They are recognized for serving in the military if they receive basic military training for four weeks and serve 544 hours in their field of activity.
According to the Military Manpower Administration data, since 1973, 990 male athletes have received military service exceptions through various international competitions. There are also 500 people who have benefited from the Asian Games. The problem is that they are not trying to improve the system even though the original purpose of enhancing national prestige through sports is fading. Men’s national team players are said to be more concerned with Asian Games gold medals than with world championships. The World Championship is higher in terms of competition level and performance, but the practical problem of military service benefits distorts the reality.
In Asian Games baseball alone, there are only eight participating countries and most of them are amateur players, but in Korea, a large number of professional players who have not been able to solve military service are dispatched to simply win gold medals and solve military service. This is why Asian Games baseball is called a “legitimate military service broker.” This is why noise occurs every time who is included in the selection of the Asian Games baseball delegation.
The current standards for benefits in the sports sector are almost the same as in the 1990 framework. Thirty-three years have passed, and the public’s perception of Korea’s national status, sports level, and military service system has changed a lot, but it seems inappropriate to maintain it. It’s time to come up with new standards through social discussions.