Kim retired from the Korean national team following the Tokyo Olympics, but continues to play at the club level

The countless fans of volleyball superstar Kim Yeon Kuong around the world received great news on Monday, when the Korean veteran made public her intention to continue her playing career.

The 36-year-old Kim had previously revealed that the 2023-2024 club season could be the last of her career, but she changed her mind over the course of the last few months playing with Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders in the Korean League.

Kim was awarded as the Korean League’s regular season MVP and was also selected for the tournament’s Dream Team. She announced her decision to continue playing during the tournament’s season-ending event, when she was handed the awards.

“I made this decision during the season,” she revealed. “A lot of fans supported me and I felt that my performance on the court this season was much better than last season’s. That’s why I decided to keep playing, the biggest reason was the massive support of the fans. I think I can still play at a good level and that fans want to watch me.”

Kim has been vastly recognized as one of the top players of her generation in international volleyball. She played for the Korean national team from 2005 to 2021 and helped them make semifinal appearances at both the London 2012 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, besides leading them to gold at the 2014 Asian Games and silver at the 2015 Asian Championships.

She played for some of the top teams in Türkiye, China, Korea and Japan, winning the CEV Champions League in 2011-2012, the CEV Cup in 2013-2014, besides six national titles and three medals at the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

“Many people told me I should leave while people are still applauding, but if they’re still doing it, then why should I go?”, she reflected. “I also said I wanted to leave at the top, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. Retirement is a personal decision and I’ll keep playing until no one is applauding anymore.”

Kim retired from the Korean national team in 2021, but was back with them as part of their coaching staff during the 2023 season.