Lee Seung-Hoon Is One of the Most Decorated South Korean Speed Skaters
Lee Seung-Hoon is one of the most legendary speed skaters from South Korea. He is 5-time Olympic medalist, 4-time medalist of the World Championships and 38-time medalist of the World Cup events. Moreover, he set many speed skating records. Want to know more about the athlete? Let’s dive in his biography.
Lee Seung-Hoon was born on March 6, 1988, in Seoul, South Korea. He got engaged into speed skating in 1994, being influenced by his elder sister. Studying at school and Korea National Sport University, he was competing in short track speed skating.
One of the first achievements of Seung-Hoon at the international level was his participation in short track events at 2009 Winter Universiade, where he won gold medals in 1000, 1500 and 3000 m. However, as those victories didn’t help him to be selected for the South Korean national team, in September 2009, he switched to long track speed skating.
World Cup and World Championships
Lee Seung-Hoon debuted at the World Cup in 2010/11 season. That season, he won a gold medal in 5000 m in Berlin and a silver medal in 10000 m in Salt Lake City. In total, at the World Cup events, the athlete gained 13 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze medals.
At 2010/11 World Single Distance Championships, Lee won a silver medal in 5000 m. In 2012/13 and 2014/15, he was a silver medalist and bronze medalist in team pursuit. At 2015/16 World Championships, the speed skater claimed gold in mass start.
Moreover, in 2010, Seung-Hoon was called Best Athlete at the Coca-Cola Athletics Awards Ceremony and in 2014, he was a part of the team to receive the Best Group Award. In 2011, he got the Best Performance Award by the Korean Olympic Committee as well as the KOC President’s Award.
Winter Olympic Games
At 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Lee Seung-Hoon surprised everyone by winning gold in 10000 m and becoming a silver medalist in 5000 m. He became the first Asian man to ever achieve these victories in long track speed skating. Also, he set the Olympic record in 10000 m, finishing the race in 12:58.55. At 2014 Sochi Olympics, Lee won a silver medal in team pursuit.
At 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Seung-Hoon became an Olympic champion in mass start with the finishing time of 7:43.97. Also, he won a silver medal in team pursuit together with Chung Jae-Won and Kim Min-Seok.
Here are the best results of the athlete in all the disciplines he competes in:
500 m – 36.34 (7 March 2015, Calgary)
1000 m – 1:23.90 (1 December 2001, Seoul)
1500 m – 1:44.83 (3 December 2017, Calgary)
5000 m – 6:07.04 (10 November 2013, Calgary)
10000 m – 12:57.27 (19 February 2011, Salt Lake City)
So, though Lee Seung-Hoon faced some obstacles at the start of his career, he managed to find the right way and became one of the best South Korean speed skaters ever. His example is very inspiring for many young athletes around the world.