After meeting 13-year-old Shigeyuki Nakarai (alias Shigekix-Japan) in the round of 16 at the 2015 Breaking Silverback Open, Kim Hong-yeol (alias Hong10) watched his 17-year-old opponent’s performance with affection, according to Yonhap News Agency.
He even playfully teased Nakarai for utilizing Hong Ten’s unique freeze in the round of 32.
Nakarai, who was a “rising star” at the time, also expressed his admiration for Kim, who is already a “legend”.
Kim Hong-yeol and Nakarai were the first B-boys to reach the final at the Asian Games after breaking dance entered the realm of sports.
It was a nostalgic match for Breaking fans who remember their first meeting eight years ago.
Kim Hong-yeol lost to Nakarai with a round score of 1-2 (4-5 3-6 6-3) on Sunday afternoon in the men’s breaking final at the Archer Canal Sports Park Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
However, no breaking fan would call Kim a loser.
Fans who value “harmony with the music” and creativity more than power moves are more likely to appreciate his performance.
In fact, it’s surprising that a 1984-born b-boy, who is already a major competition judge, is facing off against a 21-year-old top dancer at the peak of his career in the final.
“Shigekix (Nakarai) is a very hardworking b-boy,” Kim told Yonhap News Agency at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in China before returning home on Monday. After the final yesterday, I said, ‘You deserve it. I greeted him and said, ‘Congratulations, you deserve it,'” he said, adding, “I’ve played for Korea before, but it was a new and exciting experience for me to compete as a member of the Korean national team in such a comprehensive sports event. I’m grateful to many people.” He reflected on his first tournament as a member of the national team.
“I’m also very grateful to my FlowExcel crew, who I play with on the Dobong District Team. Rookie (Shin Kwang-hyun) came to Hangzhou with me and helped me train,” he said, adding that he was grateful to his co-players.
Kim Hong-yeol is enjoying a very long career.
Competing internationally since 2001 and dominating the world stage since 2006, Kim is still at the top of his game, even in the face of adversity.
His “belief” that “no matter how difficult a skill is to learn, if you can’t reinvent it as your own, it’s not worth it” has become a motto for many young b-boys and b-girls.
“When I was just making my debut, I battled seniors, and as time went on, I competed against people my own age or juniors,” says Kim, who also won a silver medal at the Asian Games. “It’s fun to compete with other generations and get inspired,” he said, “but when I see younger athletes ‘flying’ and succeeding in moves that I struggle with, I’m jealous, and I think, ‘Maybe I should back off.
Despite constantly lowering himself, Kim Hong-yeol is no slouch in terms of physical prowess, wowing his competitors with his creative performances.
The “Hongten Freeze” is a proper noun in the breakdance world. Kim is constantly creating new “Hongten Freeze” routines.
“For the Hangzhou Asian Games, I prepared a performance that reminds me of a tiger,” he recalls.
Kim also overcame an injury setback.
Two weeks ago, he tore the skin on his knee and had it stitched up in a hurry.
“When I first got injured, it was hard to walk. “I still feel pain when my knee touches the ground,” he said. “I had all kinds of bad luck besides my knee injury, but I persevered by shouting, ‘Let’s do what we can, it’s not over until it’s over,'” he laughed, “and because I persevered, I won such a valuable medal.
In fact, Kim overcame a short-term setback with a long-term effort.
He was injured just before the competition and had trouble training, but his body remembered his long-awaited performance.
The Hangzhou Asian Games gold medalist will go straight to Paris 2024.
Kim Hong-yeol, who finished with a silver medal, will compete in the Olympic qualifiers.
“There are a lot of strong athletes, so I don’t know if I can be in the top 10 (to qualify) in the Paris Olympic qualifiers. Honestly, I’m nervous,” he said, adding, “I’m not a very confident person.”
Kim overcame this anxiety with training and gave his best performance on stage.
“I will prepare hard and challenge myself,” he said. It would be meaningful to be the oldest competitor in the breaking dance at the Paris Olympics,” he laughed.
Korean b-boy fans lament that breaking dance wasn’t incorporated into the sport when Kim Hong-yeol and his friend Kim Hyo-geun (aka physicx) were taking the world by storm.
“There were good dancers even 10 years ago, and even if it had become an Olympic or Asian Games event back then, we wouldn’t have been able to win,” says Kim humbly, adding, “It’s only recently that B-Boy has been recognized as a ‘professional’. It’s a great honor to be able to say I’m from the national team.”
At the closing ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Aug. 8, the South Korean team carried the flag.
“It was a great honor,” Kim said. For breaking fans, the sight of the “legendary b-boy” walking in front of the Korean flag was unforgettable. 토토사이트