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[BEIJING OLYMPICS] Reigning skeleton gold medalist still pessimistic after initial trainingBy Yonhap
Published : Feb. 3, 2022 - 09:11
At a media conference near the end of January, Yun, the 2018 men's singles gold medalist, had given a brutally honest self-assessment, saying he didn't regard himself as a medal contender for the Beijing Winter Games. Yun struggled through the most recent International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup season, failing to win a medal for the first time since his debut in the 2014-2015 campaign. Still, such a negative outlook from an athlete who had been so outwardly confident seemed out of place.
Following his training run Wednesday afternoon at Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Yanqing District, some 70 kilometers northwest from central Beijing, Yun said his view of himself hadn't changed.
"The Olympic Games are the ultimate competition in amateur sports, and you can't just be hopeful all the time," Yun said. "You have to stare down reality and adjust accordingly."
During this past World Cup season, Yun finished as high as sixth twice and his worst finish was 26th place. Once among the fastest out of the gate, Yun has fallen out of the top echelon in start times too.
"When you just look at times, I haven't slowed down. But other sliders have become faster," Yun said. "I think I am the only one who has stalled."
At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Yun made history by becoming the first South Korean to win a gold in a sliding event.
Doing it on home soil made the feat extra sweeter for Yun.
Now 27, Yun said he is frustrated that he hasn't been able to turn back the clock.
"Obviously, I would love to put on a similar performance this time around, but doing it is different than just talking about it," Yun said. "I'll do the best I can here."
Asked if he's enjoying himself in Beijing as he had done in PyeongChang, Yun said: "Honestly, I don't think I am having that much fun here. It's true that you can never beat people who are enjoying what they're doing." (Yonhap)
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Address by President Yoon Suk Yeol on the 105th March 1st Independence Movement Day