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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 19:04 UK

Gyodong Elementary School, South Korea

World Class 2012 in partnership with the British Council bring you the stories of the schools where the dreams begin.

Pupils at Gyodong

Gyodong Elementary School

Number of students - 1108
Number of staff - 50
Where in the world? Cheong-ju, South Korea
Years Im Dong-Hyun attended: 1993 - 1998

Gyodong Elementary School aims to develop "healthy minds" for their pupils.

The school Principal, Mr Yun Hyo Jeong, wants his pupils to become "well-rounded citizens capable of making a full and varied contribution to society."

Beyond the classroom the school also encourages pupils to pursue their cultural and sporting interests. The school archery team, science group and choir have all achieved notable success.

Im Dong Hyun the Judoka?

Gyodong pupils in Science class

As well as archery, Gyodong also has a very successful judo team.

Im Dong-Hyun remembers his teachers trying to persuade him to take Judo up instead of Archery. "Many people thought I even looked more like a judo athlete than an archer," he said.

His teachers recall an athletically-built and fit young boy, who got on well with his friends, respected his parents and applied a positive attitude to his studies.

Im Dong-Hyun did well in the classroom, but it was on the archery field where he really began to stand out. While still at Gyodong Elementary, his ability was that of a middle-school student, and to his archery teachers it was soon clear "that he had potential to represent the nation."

Im Dong-Hyun has retained strong links with his former school by attending school festivals and archery meetings and also by donating money for scholarships.

Olympic Inspiration

Gyodong sports field

Im Dong-Hyun's success and continued involvement with the school has inspired today's pupils to take up sport.

The school hopes such examples could help to establish sporting and cultural activities more prominently within the Korean educational system.

During the Olympics, students are planning to gather together to watch the opening and closing ceremonies and there will be a big jump in the viewing figures in Cheong-ju whenever Im Dong-Hyun is competing.

World Olympic Dreams

Im Dong-Hyun is one of the athletes being tracked as London 2012 approaches and they strive to make their Olympic dreams a reality.

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see also
'Blind' archer aims for 2012 gold
20 Sep 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Tom Daley introduces World Class 2012
27 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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