***This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s “Physical 100” South Korean reality competition show.***
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The champion of Netflix’s hugely popular “Physical 100,” who defeated 99 other athletes over nine episodes with grueling individual and team competitions, thanked God at the conclusion of the show which aired on Feb. 21.
Woo Jin-Yong (우진용), a CrossFit and snowboard athlete, who specializes in snowboard cross racing, was named the “final physique standing” and won the nearly $250,000 prize (300 million Korean won).
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“First, I wanna say glory and thanks to God,” Woo said upon winning. “I also want to thank my parents for supporting me for over 30 years. And to those who let me compete with them up to this point, to the other 99 contestants, thank you.”
He has a Bible verse on his Instagram bio, Phil. 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
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Woo beat out several famous contestants, via Netflix:
Among the contestants is K-pop star Sunmi’s backup dancer and Single’s Inferno Season 1 star Cha Hyun-seung , actor Kang Han (Mr. Trot Season 2) and rapper Ovan. There are also a handful of professional athletes, such as pro boxer Shin Bomire, Japanese mixed martial artist and 2002 Asian Games gold medal winner Yoshihiro Akiyama, 2018 skeleton gold medalist Yun Sung-bin (also known as the “Iron Man of South Korea”) and former Korean Navy SEAL and sniper Agent H.
“I met people I’d looked up to since I was young, and I got to sweat and compete with them and spend meaningful time together in what I think is a place of honor for any sportsman,” Woo said.
There was controversy around the final match between Woo and pro-cycler Jung Hae-min after the final episode aired. Reports claimed the final quest, “infinite rope pulling,” was manipulated. There were allegations that it was played in three rounds due to technical issues, and that Jung was winning in the first two rounds.
Netflix responded in a statement and released the unedited footage. The game had to be stopped due to audio and errors with the rope machine they used for the contestants.
“The rumors that we conducted multiple rematches for the final round are not true. We did not manipulate the results nor make the match easier for any contestant. There were no ‘rematches’ that reset the progress or altered the game results.”
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Woo also responded on Instagram, saying it was not true he stopped the final match by putting his hand up.
Regardless of the controversy, my takeaway from the incredible show is that not one person is the strongest overall human. Each contestant had different strengths and weaknesses, and, depending on the day, could’ve won in a different round.
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What I loved about it was the respect, teamwork, and sportsmanlike conduct that each contestant displayed even cheering on their competition. I can’t wait for season 2!
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Caleb Parke is the SMG managing editor. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and connect with him at calebparke.com.