Ilchi Lee attended the 56th Korea Sports Awards on October 15, 2018, an annual award ceremony by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to honor those who have contributed to sports development and promotion. At the ceremony, he was given the Republic of Korea Life Sports Promotion Award for his contribution for the past 38 years to the improvement of the physical and mental health of the Korean people and the development of life sports. This year, Ilchi Lee was the only person given this award, which has a long tradition.
Ilchi Lee's long tradition began in 1980, when he started teaching exercises for free in a park in Anyang. These exercises that work your body, mind, and energy were based on an even older tradition, thousands of years old, called Sundo, a Korean Tao practice. The exercises became the basis of the many methods for health and self-development Ilchi Lee has created.
One style, called Kookhak Kigong, is being freely taught in 5,000 community locations in Korea by members of the Kookhak Qigong Association and is practiced by about one million people. Kookhak Kigong is considered a Life Sport, as it is practiced by people of all ages and significantly contributes to their physical and mental health. In 2016, the Kookhak Qigong Association was named an official member organization of the Korean Olympic Committee.
Kookhak Kigong is also practiced in other countries where Ilchi Lee's methods have traveled, including Japan, China, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Belgium, and Qatar. For the past six years, Kookhak Kigong practitioners worldwide have gathered in Korea to show their skills at a Kookhak Kigong conference and competition. In October 2018, 10,000 people from 13 countries attended the event.
Lee took the stage to receive the Life Sports Promotion Award with winners of gold medals in the recent 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
One of them was skeleton racing gold medalist Sungbin Yun.
Ilchi Lee congratulated all Kookhak Kigong instructors and practitioners, saying this award was for them as well.
You can watch him receiving the award in this short video.