12 Korean Artistes Who Were Former Athletes

In the currently airing Korean drama Record of Youth, actor Park Bo Gum effortlessly pulls off his role as a model, thanks to his fit physique and broad shoulders. Contrary to what most may think, Bo Gum did not intentionally work out his upper body for this role – his past as a swimmer likely contributed to his broad and balanced shoulders. And it turns out Bo Gum is not the only one who played sports professionally before becoming famous in Korea, as there are several unexpected Korean athletes-turned-artistes.

1. Ahn Bo Hyun

Breaking out from the hit youth drama, Itaewon Class, actor Bo Hyun used to be a boxer and participated in many amateur boxing competitions during high school. He even represented Busan and won a gold medal at a national boxing competition. He later retired from the scene due to frequent injuries and his parents’ disapproval.

2. Shinee’s Key

Although fellow Shinee member Choi Min Ho is the one who usually gets the spotlight for his athleticism, Key is also very sporty. He disclosed on a show that he water skied in middle school and participated in water skiing competitions. Although he no longer competes now, he would sometimes go to the Han River to water ski.

3. VIXX’s Leo

The idol is known for his athletic skills as he often competes in soccer games at the Idol Star Athletics Championships. He was a former member of the National Youth Soccer Players from 2004 to 2007.

4. Park Bo Gum

Bo Gum started to train his strength through swimming at a young age. He was a member of his high school’s swimming team, winning many awards and breaking school records. However, he gave up becoming an athlete after signing with an entertainment agency.

5. Shin Min Ah

The actress was once a track runner in elementary school. She likely inherited her athleticism from her mother, who was a basketball player.

6. Shin Seung Ho

Gaining attention with his performance in web series A-TEEN, Seung Ho was a soccer player for 11 years before his debut. He revealed that he had quit the soccer field because he “no longer felt happy playing soccer.”

7. So Ji Sub

The actor trained to become a professional swimmer at a young age and successfully became a member of the national team. He even earned a bronze medal in the Korean National Games after his debut in 1997.

8. Son Dam Bi

Singer-actor Dam Bi also began swimming during elementary school and gained many achievements, including earning second place at a swimming competition in Seoul.

9. Song Hye Kyo

The actress trained to become a figure skater for several years during her childhood. In an interview, her coach once shared that if Hye Kyo were to continue training, she could have most likely become the next Kim Yuna, an Olympic figure skating champion.

10. Song Joong Ki

Like his ex-wife Hye Kyo, Joong Ki was once an athlete on the ice. From elementary school to high school, he represented his hometown Daejeon as a short-track speed skater for six years. He stopped training after injuring his ankle.

11. Sung Hoon

Before debuting in the industry, the actor was a competitive swimmer for 14 years. He was a record-breaker in butterfly stroke swimming during university but had to retire because of a spinal injury. He previously showcased his swimming talent in a drama and variety show after debuting as an actor.

12. Uee

The idol-turned-actress was a swimmer while attending Incheon Physical Education High School. Although she later stopped swimming after entering the industry, she still maintains a very slim and fit physique.

Source: HK01

This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.

Related Articles


  1. athletes are the perfect breed for entertainment since they already have the physique.

Comments are closed.