Speed Skater Lee Seung-hoon Happy to Get More Shots at Olympic Medals

  • By Chang Min-seok

    February 09, 2018 10:57

    Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon will participate in four events at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, which kicks off on Friday.

    After competing in the men's 5,000-m race on Sunday and the 10,000-m next Thursday, he will enter the team pursuit qualifying event on Feb. 18 and, if he qualifies, the final on Feb. 21. On Feb. 24, a day before the closing ceremony, he will compete in the mass start. 

    Lee Seung-hoon

    Lee also qualified for the 1,500-m race but dropped out of the event to conserve energy.

    "Too many races? No. It just means more chances [for a medal]," Lee said. "I will do my best in each event."

    Lee started as a short-track speed skater but switched to speed staking after failing to earn a spot on the national short-track team in tryouts in June 2009.

    But seven months later, he won the silver medal in the men's 5,000-m event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver to become the first Asian to achieve the feat. Lee won the gold medal in the 10,000-m. He finished second behind Sven Kramer of the Netherlands, but the gold went to Lee after Kramer was disqualified for a lane violation.

    Lee ranked 19th in the 5,000-m and 14th in the 10,000-m in the ISU World Cup series this season, and is considered unlikely to win a medal in these events.

    "If I give up on long-distance races, there is no one [representing Korea] this time. I hope young skaters try harder," he said. 

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