Olympic short track legend Victor Ahn, who won three gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Torino Olympics as Ahn Hyun-Soo but switched allegiance to Russia in 2011, took the gold yesterday in the 1000m.
And the citizens in his native country are far from pleased about it.
According to Reuters, Korea’s skating union has been attacked by fans and media members alike in the wake of Ahn’s victory.
Furthermore, South Korea’s president, Park Gyun-hye, has now given orders to find how Ahn fell out with the union and wound up competing under the Russian flag.
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Interesting to note is that, unlike the union, Ahn himself has taken little heat for his decision to compete for Russia.
A Korean teacher’s comments that were run in local media would appear to represent the fans’ thoughts: “I am glad to see Ahn smiling, but somebody has got to explain why he is holding a Russian flag.”
Last night, Ahn explained that he sought, in his words, “to train in the best possible environment and I proved my decision was not wrong.”
He also may have foreshadowed a future reveal of the details behind his departure from the South Korean team.
“I will share everything I had in mind after Sochi is over,” he said.
Two words: Stay tuned.
The first four U.S. Olympic archers for Rio are known, while Khatuna Lorig will learn in three weeks if she makes her sixth Olympic team.
A full men’s team of 2012 Olympic team silver medalists Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski and first-time Olympian Zach Garrett earned their spots at the U.S. Olympic Trials that ended Monday.
Mackenzie Brown clinched her first Olympic berth by winning the women’s trials Monday.
The U.S. can send two more women to Rio if it qualifies a full team at a World Cup event in Turkey in three weeks. Those two women would be Hye Youn Park and Lorig.
Lorig, 42, is best known for teaching archery to Jennifer Lawrence before “The Hunger Games.” Lorig also competed in the 1992 Olympics for the Unified Team, the 1996 and 2000 Games for Georgia and the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the U.S.
Lorig earned team bronze at Barcelona 1992 and finished fifth and fourth individually at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The U.S. Olympic team alternates are Daniel McLaughlin and La Nola Pritchard.
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Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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