He also has a maths degree. <small> Cover image via Reddit US Department of Veteran Affairs Daily Mail </small>
“There is always an Asian who is better than you” is a saying we Asians are all too familiar with.
And in this instance, that Asian is Jonny Kim.
A Harvard Medical School alumnus, Kim is also an ex-Navy SEAL. His most recent accomplishment? He is the first Korean-American to become a NASA astronaut.
CNN reported that the 35-year-old, along with 12 others, graduated from NASA’s Artemis program on 10 January, qualifying them to participate in missions to the International Space Station, to the moon, and even to Mars.
In the report, NASA said that Kim was picked from an initial pool of over 18,000 applicants.
<a href="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/755207/144c.png" rel="segment-305374 noopener noreferrer" target="" title="Kim (first from the left), together with the other 12 astronauts who graduated from the Artemis program."> <img alt="Kim (first from the left), together with the other 12 astronauts who graduated from the Artemis program." src="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/755207/144c.png"></img></a> Kim (first from the left), together with the other 12 astronauts who graduated from the Artemis program. <small>Image via Instagram @jonnyykim</small>
After graduating from high school, Kim enlisted in the US Navy, where he eventually obtained the elite military status of a Navy SEAL
According to Daily Mail, his tenure as a Navy SEAL led him to serve as a combat medic, sniper, and navigator on over 100 combat missions across two deployments to the Middle East, earning him a Silver Star and a Bronze Star in the process.<br></br></p>
The 35-year-old husband and father went on to obtain a mathematics degree from the University of San Diego, as well as a doctorate in medicine from Harvard Medical School
Specialising in emergency medicine, Kim explained that seeing his friends killed in combat made him want to pursue medicine.
“He needed a surgeon. He needed a physician and I did eventually get him to one, but… that feeling of helplessness was very profound for me,” Kim said, when talking about a friend who was shot in the face during a 2006 mission, as quoted by Daily Mail.
Kim was a resident physician at a hospital in Massachusetts when he got selected to be an astronaut in June 2017.
“I was happy, jubilated, excited – all these emotions,” Kim said, recalling the moment he found out that NASA had picked him for its next astronaut class.
Although he already held a long list of accolades, Kim still wanted to become an astronaut as he believed in NASA’s mission of advancing the space frontier
"[I] fundamentally believed in the NASA mission of advancing our space frontier all the while developing innovation and new technologies that would benefit all of humankind," he said, as quoted by CNN.
For those thinking that his achievements were easily obtained, Kim assures that it was the complete opposite.
If he had to give his younger self a piece of advice, he said it would be this: “All things that are worthwhile are very difficult to obtain.”
<blockquote data-width="550"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">A true privilege and honor to walk among the @NASA Astronaut Corps with my brothers and sisters. We know there are many qualified and deserving candidates out there - we're the lucky ones to represent humanity. Let's work towards a better future for our world and our children. pic.twitter.com/eUv8iSK7gn</p>— Jonny Kim (@JonnyYKim) January 13, 2020</blockquote>
Meanwhile, our fellow Malaysians’ achievements continue to make us proud:
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