Lee Sang-hwa's Boyfriend Takes Military Leave to Lend Support

Lee Sang-hwa's boyfriend has made a surprise visit to Sochi to cheer the speed skater who defended her Olympic title in the women's 500 m on Tuesday.

Lee Sang-yeop was a former ice hockey player but he gave up the sport after graduating from university. He enlisted in December 2011 and is currently serving as a lieutenant in the Navy.

Lee Sang-hwa (left) poses with her boyfriend in this picture he posted on his website. Lee Sang-hwa (left) poses with her boyfriend in this picture he posted on his website.

He reportedly arrived in Sochi last week during his holidays after acquiring the approval of his commanding officer. He did not meet the Olympic champion until she finished the 500-m event on Tuesday, worrying that it could distract her.

The couple reportedly met for just a moment after the race.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 13, 2014 11:24 KST