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    South Korean Olympic Chief Defends Move to Send Athletes to Train at Military Camp

    South Korean Olympic Chief Defends Move to Send Athletes to Train at Military Camp

    , South Korea — South Korea's Olympic chief has defended a decision to send hundreds of athletes to a next week as part of preparations for the 2024 Games in Paris, citing a need to instill mental toughness in competitors.

    About 400 athletes, including women, will arrive at a marine boot camp in the southeastern port city of Pohang on Monday for a three-day training aimed at building resilience and teamwork, the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee said.

    The program, pushed by the committee's president, Lee Kee-Heung, has faced criticism from politicians and media who described the training camp as outdated and showing an unhealthy obsession with medals.

    Officials at the committee have played down concerns about the potential for injuries, saying the athletes will not be forced into the harsher types of military training. Morning jogs, rubber-boat riding and events aimed at building camaraderie will be on the program. Sports officials are still finalizing details of the camp with the Korea Marine Corps., committee official Yun Kyoung-ho said Thursday.

    During a meeting with domestic media, Lee said he hopes that next week's training could help inspire a “rebound” for the country's Olympic athletes who are stuck in a “real crisis situation.” He was referring to what was widely seen as the country's underwhelming medal tallies in this year's Asian Games and at the Olympics in…

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