My Happiness in the Motherland

Here are the memoirs of Professor and Doctor Ri Tong Gyu, Deputy President of the Academy of Sports and Physical Culture of the DPRK.

This year I am 78 years old. It would be difficult to understand if I say I cannot distinguish dream from reality in the twilight of my life, but really I feel as if I am dreaming.

It still seems to be a dream that I met and talked with respected Marshal Kim Jong Un on August 14, Juche 102 or 2013.

I am an ordinary researcher who has worked in the field of sports scientific research for more than half a century. But respected Marshal Kim Jong Un praised me, saying I know everything about football and met me in person. It is indeed my greatest happiness and honour. I was really happy that day.

In retrospect, half of my life was spent in Japan.

I loved football since young. In the days of the Tokyo Korean Middle and High School, I was a leading footballer and captain of the school team. My family was poor, but my parents earned penny by penny and sent me to the Tokyo University of Education.

However, I was not happy but worried. My father´s illness turned more serious and the family became poorer, and I could not expect tuition from the parents. I studied under difficulty.

At that time, I heard a happy news that the homeland had sent stipends to the children of the Koreans in Japan in April Juche 46 or 1957. I ran to the University and, showing the envelope of the stipend sent by the great leader Kim Il Sung, shouted:

“Look. Ri Tong Gyu of Korea also received stipend. My motherland sent stipend to this son!”

Elated with the excitement that day I came back to the homeland on October 5th, Juche 49 or 1960 and became a researcher at the then Institute of Sports and Physical Cultural Science as I wished.

Devote all my talents and passion to serve and honour the motherland with successes in sports science–it was the goal of my life and pledge to the motherland.

I perused foreign books on football and other data of sports science and, on the basis of their study and analysis, did my best to assist the footballers´ training and games in a scientific and technological way with training plans, analysis of games and measures for the games.

I wrote more than 10 books including the Encyclopedia of Sports and Physical Culture and Football Training Methods and 100 plus treatises and trained holders of academic degrees and titles. I anchored the World Cup in Juche 63 or 1974 and since then thousands of international and national games.

It was under the warm care of the motherland that I became a professor and doctor and now enjoy the greatest honour.

My happy life is possible thanks to the grateful motherland. I will spend the rest of my life rendering services to the development of football of the country and remain an unforgettable football anchorman in the memory of the people.