South Korea’s Yang Hak-seon, who won the gold medal in the vault at the 2012 Olympics in London, recently criticized Hanyang University for the school’s decision to drop gymnastics while keeping other, more popular sports.
The 21-year-old Yang, the first Korean gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal, did not mince words when putting his university of blast:
"I have withstood physical pains from gymnastics but this decision breaks my heart so much. How would a senior in high school feel if he studied so hard only to find there is nowhere he can apply to? This is so grave an issue that I could not take a back seat (Reuters)."
The university plans on dropping gymnastics, judo, and track and field and keeping soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and ice hockey. An official from the school denied that gymnastics (and the other two sports) are being dropped due to lack of media coverage and popularity, instead pointing to the fact they are individual sports as the reason behind their expendability:
"It is a total misunderstanding. We are shutting down gymnastics not because it gets less media attention and thus not very helpful in promoting the school’s name but because it is an individual sport. It makes the whole restructuring process a lot easier (than team sports)."