It’s been just a little over a month since South Korean darts player ‘Cho Kwanghee’ played his magical weekend in Assen during the 2020 Dutch Open Darts. He won the WDDA Winmau World Championship and the Dutch Open Paradarts competition. He came to the Netherlands as probably the most unknown player of the tournament and returned home as a World Champion.
In South Korea, Cho was already one of the most popular players so an even busier time was waiting for him, including multiple tv appearances. He appeared on OBS경인TV where he spoke about the Dutch Open, his darts school, disability darts and his own progress.
First, Cho explains his condition and why he participated in the WDDA and paradarts tournament. He has been fully paralysed. After three years of not being able to move he started training by himself. He’s now able to walk again after much effort. He still occasionally has a lot of pain in his legs because he still suffers from the effects of the paralysis. Cho also tells about how he spent his days during the tournament in Europe: ‘It’s hard. I woke up, went to the venue, played for a very long day and went back to the hotel to try to get some sleep (which wasn’t much). The next day I woke up and went to the venue, played and went back to the hotel again’.
Darts for everyone
Two big banners stand tall in the room, showing the best of Cho’s achievements from the past years. Quite a couple of students came to visit the Darts School to learn from the ‘World #1’. From what we can see, there are three soft tip boards to play on, all manufactured by POP!DART. They supplied the school with a low board as well so that people who are unable to stand for long as well as wheelchair players can also play and practice. Cho proudly shows the board: ‘Everyone can play darts. Even sick people and people with disabilities’.
An elderly couple comes in to practice and learn, praising Cho for becoming World Champion despite the paralysis he had to overcome.
After Darts School, Cho sets off to visit his mother and cook for her. The two clearly have a good bond and have been through some stuff, including the paralysis and the passing of Cho’s father when Cho was still young. Cho:
‘My mother is not feeling well, I do what I can to help’.
When asked about his dream (주인공의 꿈은 뭘까요?), it’s one thing that comes to mind: Cho has been writing down his story for it to become a book. He hopes many people will read it and says: ‘I want to give people courage’.
For those interested, you can rewatch the full item here. Note: It’s in Korean and does not include subtitles, but it’s still a fun watch! Kwanghee’s part starts at around 27 minutes. I tried my best to write a summary of the programme in English so that many people can understand. All pictures were sent to me by Kwanghee himself, thank you so much! Credit for the programme goes to OBS경인TV.