Aug 2, 2017
Park Ji-sung poses with Soohorang, the mascot for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (The International Olympic Committee's Facebook page)
South Korean football legend Park Ji-sung
(박지성) will be named an honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, the event's organizers said Wednesday.
PyeongChang's organizing committee said Park's appointment ceremony will take place in Seoul on Friday.
Park Ji-sung was one of South Korea's most iconic football stars until his retirement in 2014. He served as the national team captain and represented the country at three FIFA World Cups, scoring at least a goal in each of the three tournaments. He won 100 caps for South Korea, one of nine South Koreans in the century club.
Unheralded as a collegiate player in South Korea, Park made his professional debut with Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan in 2000. He starred for the national team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, under head coach Guus Hiddink, who later signed Park for his Dutch club, PSV Eindhoven.
After three seasons in the Netherlands, Park joined Manchester United, becoming the first South Korean to play in the English Premier League (EPL). Park enjoyed his best years with the Red Devils, winning four EPL titles, the 2007-2008 UEFA Champions League and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.
Park Ji-sung later played with Queens Park Rangers in the EPL and then had his second tour of duty with PSV Eindhoven to finish out his career.
For his tireless work ethic, Park was dubbed "Three-Lung Park" during his heyday.
Park Ji-sung will join the ranks of other sporting stars as PyeongChang's honorary ambassadors, including former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, two-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin.
PyeongChang 2018, the first Winter Games to take place in South Korea, will go on from Feb. 9 to 25.