Trio of Olympic skating champs embraces challenge

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 15, 2014 - 19:08
  • Updated : Jan 15, 2014 - 19:08
A trio of reigning Olympic speed skating champions said Wednesday they’re looking forward to their title defense on a familiar ice surface at the upcoming Sochi Winter Games.

Lee Sang-hwa, the women’s 500-meter gold medalist from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was joined by Mo Tae-bum, the men’s 500 m champ from Vancouver, and Lee Seung-hoon, the men’s 10,000 m winner four years ago, at their joint press conference at the National Training Center in Seoul.

They all spoke of their affinity for the ice track at the speed skating venue in the Sochi Games, the Adler Arena Skating Center.

The three competed at the world championships there in March last year and said the ice felt quite similar to the Richmond Olympic Oval from the 2010 Olympics.

“All three of us felt the ice and also the atmosphere of the arena felt really similar to Vancouver,” Lee Sang-hwa said. “And to think that we’d go back there for the Olympics gave me an extra dose of motivation.”

Lee is the world record holder in the women’s 500 m with 36.36 seconds.

She won all nine races that she entered so far in the International Skating Union World Cup season. After setting her first world record last January, she broke it three times in November alone. (Yonhap News)