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Achieving the Korean Dream: Cambodian billiards empress Sruong Pheavy Updated: 2021-09-20 18:05:11 KST


Never in her wildest dreams did Sruong Pheavy imagine she'd be one of the best women's three-cushion billiards players in the world.
Before settling down in Korea in 2010 as a 20-year-old newlywed from Cambodia, she'd never even picked up a cue stick before.

(KOREAN)
"I learn quick once someone shows me how to do something. One day, my husband took me to a billiards hall and asked me if I wanted to give it a try."

After a slew of amateur trophies, just a few months ago she won the BlueOne Resort LPBA Championship.
But going pro was never part of the plan.
Pheavy originally aimed to get employed at a restaurant or factory as soon as possible and send money back to her potato farming parents in Cambodia.
That was until her Korean husband who she met through an international marriage broker convinced her that she had potential.

(KOREAN)
"He told me that if I dedicated myself to training for a few years, I could make enough money to help many more people in my home country."

And that's what she did.
What started out as fun led to a passion, and then, a career.

(KOREAN)
"At one point, I was training ten to twelve hours a day from eleven in the morning to eleven at night

Now, she has her own billiards hall and even an amateur competition named after her.
Billiards for Pheavy, though, is not about the glitz and glamor it's about setting an example.

(KOREAN)
"I want married women in multicultural families here like me to challenge themselves without being afraid or ashamed of any stereotypes."

It's also a means of providing humanitarian aid: donating books, school supplies and medicine to the less fortunate in her home country.
Her ultimate dream?
Establishing a sports school for impoverished Cambodian boys and girls.

(KOREAN)
"There are many gifted young children out there. Kids with untapped potential like me as a girl. All they need is help and support."

For Pheavy, money and fame don't mean much if she can't share it with others.
She's made it her life's mission to give back because she knows she couldn't have made it to the top alone.

(KOREAN)
"I never play billiards for myself. I play for my family and those around me. It's thanks to the love and care I've received along the way that I'm here where I am now."

Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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