Kim Pok Son living in a sea village in Sunam District, Chongjin City, North Hamgyong Province was surprised while reading a newspaper one June day in 2011.
It highlighted the news that her son Om Yun Chol snatched a gold medal in the men’s 56kg-category jerk of the World Junior Weightlifting Championships.
She walked round the village with the newspaper, saying proudly: “This is my son.”
The days when her son started weightlifting came to her mind.
He was good at running with competitive spirit from his childhood. One day she took him to the then Sunam District Juvenile Sports School as she wanted him to become a footballer.
After carefully examining him with sturdy physique, powerful muscle and shrewd eyes, its headmaster said he had a suitable physical constitution for weightlifting and sent him to the weightlifting group.
Consequently, the boy had a bond with weightlifting. His mother devoted herself for the son intent on training in the afternoon after having lessons in the morning.
Later, he was summoned to the Amnokgang Sports Club. He sometimes got feeble-minded whenever he got homesick.
One Sunday he phoned to ask about the health of his parents and elder sister, his mother said: A man who is concerned about his family affairs cannot do great things. Give yourself to the training with a mind to exalt the honour of the family and the country.
Afterwards, he recollected that her words became his spiritual mainstay. He trained hard, cherishing her request as that of the country.
He set a new world record by lifting the weight three times of his body weight in the 30th Olympic Games in 2012 and won a gold medal. He also topped the totals in the World Weightlifting Championships in 2013, and retained the world championship five times.
The country awarded him Kim Jong Il Prize, the titles of Labour Hero and People’s Athlete and provided him with a modern flat built on the banks of the Pothong River in the capital city of Pyongyang and a car.
His mother was so happy that she felt as if she took all blessings on this land to herself.
She said to her son presenting her with a fragrant bouquet on Mother’s Day: You should not forget the benevolence of the country.
So Kyong Hyok