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Dream Breaker - Chapter 63

The Swimming Emperor(7)

To participate in the Summer Olympics in about a year, one must first become a national representative.

"It's simple."

After looking at the world's new records, it seemed possible to sweep all Olympic gold medals regardless of distance.


'Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, individual medley...?'

Unlike modern times, where only speed matters regardless of swimming style, the older generation was divided into more specific categories.

Various distances including 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m!

As a result, there were many medals that could be won just in swimming events.


The reason Nam Hae-soo could become the 'Emperor of Swimming' with the most Olympic medals.

It was realistically impossible to surpass his number of medals in modern times, when there were fewer Olympic swimming events.

"I'm in trouble. I only learned a little of the other swimming styles."

Backstroke, where you lie flat facing upwards, rotating both arms alternately and kicking water with both legs.

Breaststroke, in which you bend and extend both arms and legs like a frog while keeping your body and water horizontal.

Freestyle, where you paddle both arms like oars and bring both legs together to kick water like a mermaid's tail fin.

My skills in these swimming styles are at a newborn baby level.

'Should I learn them now?'

The swimming style I learned from Song Seon-young was the fastest crawl style.

With your face and body facing underwater, alternate your arms and kick water with both legs.

And depending on the number of times you kick water with both legs while paddling with both arms once, it is divided into 2-beat, 4-beat, and 6-beat...

"It's different from modern times."

In short distances, 6-beat, and in long distances, 2-beat and 4-beat are used?

It was the complete opposite.

In the crawl swimming style, about 70% of the propulsion comes from the arms, and in 6-beat, both arms rotate once while both legs move back and forth 6 times.

On the other hand, in 4-beat, both arms rotate once while both legs move back and forth 4 times...

In other words, when both legs move back and forth 12 times, 6-beat moves both arms 2 times, and 4-beat moves both arms 3 times.

Which is faster?

The 4-beat, which moves the arms more in the same amount of time.

"I still remember."


"Seon-young said that if she became a swimmer, her arms would get thicker."


So, Song Seon-young used an ambiguous swimming method called 5-beat, which focused on her long legs, which were her specialty, rather than her arms.

That must be the cause of her defeat.

"Stay still."


I am on my way to the Olympic Athletes' Village, taking turns on trains and buses.

"It feels strange."


"If my memory serves me right, this athletes' village is a facility designated as a World Cultural Heritage site."

It was praised for having well-preserved ancient stadiums.

Since it was so rundown, the athletes' village was being used as a photo spot for tourists and couples.

I, who was always busy with part-time jobs, never had the chance to visit.

The athletes' village, surrounded by forests, had a charming atmosphere.

"Let's see... If we go straight past the Meeting Square, it's on the left."


I looked at the guide map of the athletes' village and headed to the swimming center.

Finally, I arrived at the entrance!

"Are you an athlete?"

"Um... I came here because I want to become an athlete."

"You've come to the wrong place. This is not where athletes are selected. It's a training ground for national representatives."

"Then where do they select athletes?"

"Check the internet."

"Ah, yes."

No entry for the general public!

Having been stopped by a security guard at the entrance of the Athletes' Village Swimming Center, I couldn't help but feel embarrassed.

"What should I do?"


"Should I sneak in?"

Let's ask a swimming coach to take a look just once.

If I can prove my skills, they would forgive me for intruding into the athletes' village without permission.

* * *

"Huh! You didn't even graduate from a sports university, let alone high school?"

"I'm an immigrant..."

It wasn't difficult to meet a coach entering the swimming center.


"You speak Korean very well. Take the GED, graduate from a sports university, and come back through the official procedure."

The coaches' attitudes were ironclad.

"Please, just take a look once. I'm confident in my freestyle."

"Oh! If you're so confident in your freestyle, get admitted to a university with a special scholarship, get recognized, and come back."


It was a valid argument.

Is it because I quickly climbed to the first team with my skills in reality?

I seemed to have underestimated the national representatives of the old days.

"Just once..."

"Go back."

"Give me a moment..."


I asked other swimming coaches as well, but their answers were all the same.

Just one time!

All I had to do was show my skills just once, but that one time was too difficult.

In the end,

"We received a report."

"Oh, no."

The police came.

"Do you have an Athletes' Village pass or an ID card?"


"Then you'll have to accompany us to the police station. Don't worry, there will be no fine if you cooperate."


Not wanting to cause any trouble, I obediently got into the police car.

"By the way, what's that on your head?"

"It's a hat."


"It's a cute hat."

"Thank you."


After a brief investigation at the police station, I was released and gritted my teeth.

'Just wait and see!'

While it's true that I didn't follow the procedure, what's with the condescending attitude of asking about universities?

I couldn't understand it.

"Sigh! I'm going crazy. There's less than a year left until the Olympics...!"

So, I looked for a swimming competition that anyone could participate in.

However, there was no way to prove my skills in one go and reach the national team even if I searched with my eyes wide open!

Gymnasium, regional competition, national competition...

To enter the athletes' village, I had to join a university or a local organization, and gradually climb up the ranks, starting from smaller competitions.


'It's going to be difficult at this rate.'

The reason was that swimming competitions were being canceled one after another due to the increasingly serious epidemic.

Should I go to a sports university?

But even if the situation goes well, I will enter in March next year. I can't participate in the Olympics.

"Then how..."




As I walked nonchalantly, I stopped because of my friend making a rough noise above my head.

Why is it suddenly making noise?

With that question in mind, I casually looked to the side and exclaimed at the placard hanging between the trees.

「National Marathon Competition」

"This is it!"

Swimming pools have a limit to the number of people who can swim at once, so hundreds of people cannot participate in a competition.

So they have to set participation conditions to limit the number of people...

But what about marathons?

All they need to do is control some roads and prepare 42.195km!

As hundreds of people can run at the same time, they don't ask for any requirements like education and age if you pay a certain participation fee.

'And it's tomorrow?'

The key is whether they are still accepting marathon entries, but the advertisement said it would be open until 6 pm today.


"Of course, I'm grateful!"


The marathon registration was done online!

The starting point could be found by searching the address, and the finish line was at the Athletes' Village Athletics Stadium.

It was a national marathon with the purpose of gathering strength to overcome the epidemic, and even active athletes and politicians participated...

It was perfect.

"Show off the stamina of a shaman chasing ghosts!"


I registered right away.

* * *

As a marathon where ordinary people also participated, it was not necessary to complete the race.

You could give up at any time, and if you arrived at the finish line within 10 hours, they would give you a commemorative gift...

After listening to the detailed precautions from the safety officer with a loudspeaker, I received a thin piece of clothing with a bib number.

'I'll be the leader right away!'

Since the local broadcasters would focus on covering active athletes, I needed to attract attention from the start to avoid the misunderstanding of manipulation.

"Keep your distance."

"You can't take off your mask!"

"There's only 1 minute left!"

Perhaps because of the fear of the epidemic? There seemed to be more safety officers than people watching the marathon.

'It's better not to know.'

Compared to the great catastrophe that humanity will face in the future, this is just a light warm-up exercise.


As soon as the start signal hit my eardrum, I rushed forward.

"Excuse me!"


People running slowly to distribute their stamina blocked the way. I struggled a bit because of that, but I was able to overtake them after a short distance.

'There they are.'

I found the leading group made up of people with body shapes that seemed like they could run for a long time!

I naturally joined them.



They looked at me strangely, as I didn't even have proper sneakers.

'Should I provoke them a little?'

I wanted to run at full speed all the way to the finish line, but I didn't want to be misunderstood as using drugs.

I decided to just stay a little ahead.


I took the lead, surpassing the first-place athlete.


However, even though he lost first place, the athlete ran silently without being shaken.

'I see...'

Does he think I'll get tired and fall off midway?

I decided to watch how long he could maintain his composure.

* * *

Fortunately, there was no marathon rule that I couldn't look at my smartphone.


"Don't worry about me."


The athletes who took my provocation fell one by one, leaving only one person remaining.

However, this last competitor also looked quite tired.

He seemed anxious as the distance between us didn't narrow no matter how much time passed.


He staggered~

He almost fell, unable to hold on any longer.


"Just hang in there a little more. You can see the finish line."

I could see the entrance to the athletes' village, where the police had reported me and chased me away.

'He held on for a long time.'

I adjusted my speed for nearly two hours to avoid being misunderstood as using a trick like a two-person relay. If I run next to the athlete followed by the camera, no one can say anything wrong.

But that's over now.

As soon as I set foot in the athletes' village, I ran at full speed.



The athlete, surprised by my sudden acceleration, screamed.

The distance between us grew...

With a thud!

The last competitor, who had been unstable, collapsed on the asphalt.

"Oh, no..."


I felt a little sorry for treating him like a sacrifice, but I couldn't stop midway.


I entered the athletes' village athletics stadium, where the marathon finish line was, in first place!

My stamina was still abundant, but the soles of my feet hurt so much.

'The time is... 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 13 seconds.'

I checked the elapsed time on my smartphone.

It was slightly faster than the world record for a marathon.

Should I slow down a bit?

But it seemed too late to adjust the record.




I crossed the finish line, pushing away the white ribbon that touched my chest.



There was no sound from the people sitting in the stadium's stands.

"Um... I need water."

"Thank you!"

I sat down on the ground, sucking on the straw of the water bottle handed to me by a girl who looked like a high school student.


Then I took off my shoes and socks.

"It hurts..."


Although the skin didn't peel off and no blisters formed, the soles of my feet were bright red.

"Excuse me."


"Did you run from the middle?"

"No, I completed the race. If you watched the live broadcast, you would know."


The man who approached me and asked the question tightly closed his lips.

"Is there a problem?"

"The record is 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 52 seconds."

"It's really a shame. My shoes weren't good, so I couldn't go faster."


The man's face hardened as he belatedly realized that I wasn't wearing sneakers.


Snap snap!

A reporter quickly took my picture and asked a question with a microphone.

"How do you feel about winning?"

"Is this a live broadcast?"


"It feels like I've avenged the humiliation of being ignored because of my poor academic background."

"Who ignored you?"

"I'll keep it a secret for their honor."

The reporter didn't ask any further and moved on to another question.

"Do you have a goal?"

"Yes. Marathon is a hobby. I am-"

"Wait, hold on! I'm sorry. You achieved a world record of 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 52 seconds, although it's unofficial, but you're saying it's just a hobby?!"

"Ho, hobby?"


The astonished reporter. Those who were listening to the interview were also surprised.


"Yes. My specialty is swimming. Even though I was ignored without even giving me a chance!"


From today, I am the Emperor of Swimming

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