Tottenham star Heung-min Son wins gold medal for South Korea, avoiding military service

South Korea star soccer player Heung-min Son, who plays for Tottenham in England, won more than just a gold medal on Saturday at the Asian Games. As South Korea beat Japan 2-1 in extra time in the final, Son also won't have to see his club career interrupted due to 21-month military service. 

South Korean men must complete 21 months of service before turning 28, but there are exemptions for athletes, like those who win gold at the Asian Games. Also, as ESPN points out, medaling at the Olympics earns an exemption.

Had his team not won, he could have been facing nearly two years of military service, which would have seen him miss significant time with Spurs. 

Instead, he gets to avoid military service and continue his professional career in England. 

For many of us, it's hard to comprehend what that must be like. There's little doubt he was feeling a bit more pressure. But Son did his part in extra time, delivering the assist on the winning goal and keeping his professional career on track.

Son joined Tottenham in 2015 and has 47 goals in 140 matches for the team. As a result of playing in this cup, he has missed all three of the club's Premier League games this season and will miss tomorrow's match. Tottenham is undefeated after three games, winning all three of them.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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