Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance. The time it takes the pigeon to cover the specified distance is measured and the bird's rate of travel is calculated to determine the pigeon which returned at the highest speed. Belgium has long been a home for pigeon enthusiasts, there are reportedly more than 20,000 pigeon breeders in Belgium.
The BBC reported that a two-year-old male racing pigeon was sold for 1.6 million euros (2.132 billion won) in Belgium on November 15th, setting a new record. Kurt Van de Wouver, the breeder of the 2-year-old female pigeon named "New Kim", called the price shocking. The CEO and founder of the auction company Fifa also said that the price was unbelievable. The previous record was last year's €1.25 million (1,640.8 million won) for a 4-year-old male.
New Kim won a number of races, including the 2018 Belgian middle-distance race, but has retired from racing. Two hundred euros (262,540,000 KRW) was the initial price that New Kim started the auction at. After two Chinese buyers’ competition, the pigeon was eventually sold for the new record amount.
New Kim's new owner says he will use it for breeding. Racing pigeons generally can produce pigeons until they are up to 10 years old and the previous record-breaking 4-year-old male pigeon had many young after the auction.