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National marathoner Lee Bong-ju coming out of the incurable dise

“My body has recovered about 60%.” National marathoner Lee Bong-ju (53) is overcoming an incurable disease.

Mr. Lee, who is coming out of the incurable disease tunnel after a long battle with the disease, visited Kangwon Ilbo with his close junior, Park Ji-hong, CEO of Open Sesame Co., Ltd., on the 29th and had a pleasant chat with Kangwon Ilbo CEO Park Jin-oh and other executives and employees. Mr. Lee, who began suffering from unexplained pain in 2020 and was diagnosed with an incurable disease called ‘dystonia,’ announced the good news that “more than 60% of my body has recovered.”

Although Mr. Lee's back was bent and looked uncomfortable when he walked, he corrected his posture and showed improvement compared to the Samcheok Hwang Young-jo International Marathon held last May hosted by Dong-A Ilbo. There was a belief that the ‘national marathoner’ could run the race again even at a fast walking pace.

He holds the Korean record for the marathon (2 hours, 07 minutes, 20 seconds) and is a legendary marathoner who has completed the full course 41 times. As his nickname suggests, he is a sports hero to the entire nation. When the news came that he could no longer run due to an incurable disease, the public's shock and sadness was that great. Therefore, many people are rooting for Lee to recover and be able to race again.

President Park Jin-oh said, “I am very fortunate that my back has improved a lot since the Hwang Young-jo International Marathon this May,” and added, “As I am a ‘national’ marathoner, I hope that the remaining 40% will recover as soon as possible so that the people can have strength.” I cheered.

Kangwon Ilbo media director Kim Hyeon-cheol, who works as a Western painter, showed his support by drawing a caricature of Mr. Lee and gifting it to him. Mr. Lee, who smiled brightly when he saw a caricature that looked exactly like him, replied, “I feel strong because there are so many people supporting me,” and added, “I hope to recover quickly and contribute to the development of the Korean marathon.”

Meanwhile, news that had not been known until now was also reported on this day. Last May, Lee released a song called ‘I am Bongju.’ Although Mr. Lee was embarrassed about his digital single album, he smiled and said, “Please listen to it a lot.”


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Friday, December 1, 2023
 
 
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