Choi Min-jeong’s Path to Olympic Gold
South Korean short track speed skater, Choi Min-jeong, became 2-time Olympic gold medalist at 2018 PyeongChang Games. Though she is only 19, the athlete already shows astonishing results and is about to become a speed skating legend.
Choi Min-jeong was born on September 9, 1998, in Seongnam, South Korea. She started to skate at the age of 6, being encouraged by her father. Since then, she practices regularly and we are able to witness her progress. Let’s see what Choi’s way to success was and how she managed to become an Olympic champion.
Choi Min-jeong started her international career, participating in 2013/14 Junior World Championships, where she claimed gold in 3000 m relay and managed to finish the competition with an overall bronze medal. In 2014/15, she showed fantastic results at the World Championships, winning the overall gold medal in addition to gold in 1000 m, 3000 m relay and bronze in 1500 m.
In 2015/16 season, the short track speed skater won her second overall gold medal, after being the best in 1000 m and 3000 m relay as well as being a silver medalist in 1500 m. In 2017/18, Min-jeong won her third overall World Championships title in a row. That season, she was a gold medalist in 1500 m, 500 m and 3000 m relay.
The athlete’s World Cup career started in 2014/15 season and immediately brought the athlete her first medals. She won 9 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze medals in her rookie season. It total, at the World Cup events, Choi won 39 gold, 18 silver and 2 bronze medals.
2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were the first ones in Min-jeong’s career and turned out to be very successful. In the semifinal of the 500m race, she set the Olympic record by finishing the race in 42.422. But, she didn’t gain a medal because of penalty for interference.
However, the speed skater claimed gold in 1500 m with the result of 2:24.948. Also, she won one more gold medal in 3000 m relay, the victory she shares with her teammates Shim Suk-hee, Kim Ye-jin and Lim A-lang. They finished the race in 4:07.361.
Choi shared that it was her dream to win the Olympic Games: “It was the biggest dream of mine for four years, I can't put it into words. I am so proud of it. Physically I am so burned out but inside I am so happy, so proud of my whole country”.
Here are the personal bests of Choi Min-jeong:
500 m – 42.422 (13 February 2018, Gangneung)
1000 m – 1:28.546 (19 November 2017, Seoul)
1500 m – 2:14.354 (12 November 2016, Salt Lake City)
3000 m – 4:58.939 (18 March 2018, Montreal)
Despite her young age, Choi Min-jeong is already the winner of the World Championships, World Cup events and Winter Olympic Games. We can’t even imagine what this athlete will show us in the future.