Updated January. 25, 2014 06:35
This happened at the fourth ISU Short Track World Cup championship held at Kolomna, Russia in mid-November last year. Noh Jin-gyu, a flagship skater of the Korean national team, was seen having a noticeably large swell on his left shoulder. He was later diagnosed with benign tumor at hospital. Enduring pain, Noh participated in competitions. He was not qualified to race in the individual category at the Olympic Games, but volunteered to skate at 1,000 meter and 1,500 meter relays to enable the Korean team to qualify for the upcoming Olympics. While skating relay competitions, he had to push teammates back only with his right hand due to overwhelming pain in his left shoulder.
In mid-January, he suffered severe injury of fractured left elbow bone as he slipped and fell off during skating training, and was dropped from the national Olympic team roster. Thus, his cherished dream to race at the Olympics, which he prepared with determination even by taking painkiller pills, went up in smoke.
Then, he came to face a totally shocking situation. While taking treatment of his elbow injury and shoulder problems, the tumor that had been believed to be benign was found to be malignant. On Wednesday, he underwent major surgery that removed all of the wing bone on his left shoulder at Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Nowon-gu, Seoul. Dr. Jeon Dae-geun, who conducted the surgery, said, Inspection of tissue from the tumor on his left wing bone revealed that he has tosteosarcoma. It is a type of bone cancer, and treatment rate is about 60 percent. He should take anti-cancer treatment for six to eight months. We will learn whether he will be able to continue his athletic career only after treatment.
Despite his difficult situation, Noh rooted for the national team. He said, Our athletes exercised a lot after the World Cup event, and hence are in fairly good condition. I hope that they will win the gold medal in the relay competition without fail, as well as the individual competitions.