wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Sports

http://www.washingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/ABMK8PP_linkset.html
The Early Lead
Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Kim Jong-Il: A sporting life (with golf, bowling, soccer and basketball interests)

Let us pause, for a moment, to remember the sporting life of Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean leader who died Saturday.

He excelled at golf and bowling — you might say he was a natural at both, if reports are to be believed.

In his very first golf game in 1994, Kim finished an 18-hole round of golf at 38-under par — over the 7,700-yard championship course at Pyongyang, according to state media. Kim was in a zone, recording five holes-in-one (some reports have the number as high as 11). Another legend had him bowling a perfect 300 in his first attempt at the sport, but that one may have strained the bonds of credulity to the breaking point.

His interest in soccer and basketball were better substantiated. He offered coaching advice during the 2010 World Cup, communicating with coach Kim Jong-Hun via invisible cellphone. “Jong Il is said to have developed the technology himself,” the coach told ESPN.

In the women’s World Cup this summer, the North Korea coach said his team lost to the United States because his players were struck by lightning during a practice session in North Korea.

Kim was a big basketball fan — and an even bigger Michael Jordan fan. Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, presented him with a ball signed by Jordan and Kim is said to have owned a video library of nearly every game Jordan played.

MORE

- Death of the North Korean leader

Reclusive North Korea opens its door a crack for tourists

Lack of publicity for Kim Jong Eun fuels speculation over N. Korean power shift

North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and likely heir appear at massive military parade

H / T David Larimer

By  |  10:49 AM ET, 12/19/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company