Speed Skater to Become Korea's First Six-Time Olympian

Lee Kyou-hyuk Lee Kyou-hyuk

Speed skater Lee Kyou-hyuk is set to become the first Korean athlete to compete at the Olympic Games six times if he stays injury-free leading up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia in February.

Lee has qualified for places in the men's 500-m and 1,000-m races at the Games, according to a roster of athletes released by the International Skating Union on Wednesday.

Korea has produced a handful of five-time Olympians.

They include Lee Eun-chul, who claimed gold at the 50-m rifle prone at Barcelona 1992; alpine skier Hur Seong-wook; Oh Seong-ok, a member of the women's handball team that won gold in 1992, silver medals at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, and bronze at Beijing 2008; and male handball player Yoon Kyung-shin, who was the flag bearer at London 2012.

Since joining the national team in 1993, Lee has emerged as a four-time World Sprint Speed Skating champion, having won in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. He also finished runner-up in 2012. In 2011, he claimed the title of world champion at the 500-m race. He also finished first in the ISU World Cup series a remarkable 14 times.

However, despite his decorated career, Lee has never had success at the Olympics. He first competed at the Lillehammer Games in 1994 but failed to collect a medal as of Vancouver 2010 -- a record he will be hoping to change in the next few months.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 12, 2013 11:06 KST