Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn was awarded an extra medal Friday, one embedded with fragments of the meteorite that struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013.
Last year, it was announced that chunks of the meteorite that hit the Ural Mountains region would be “chipped off and inserted into” extra medals offered to Olympians who won events on the one-year anniversary of the collision that injured more than 1,000 people.
No Americans won gold medals on Feb. 15 in Sochi, but Ahn prevailed in one of seven medal events that day.
Ahn was the most decorated male athlete in Sochi, winning four medals, including three gold, after receiving Russian citizenship in 2012. He also won four medals, including three gold, for South Korea in 2006, skating as Ahn Hyun-Soo.
Ahn, 28, won his sixth overall World Championship in Montreal on Sunday. He has not committed to competing through the 2018 Olympics, which will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“It’s not important for me to give any promises now,” he said Friday, according to R-Sport. “It’s important to do well this year and then see whether I’m able to compete for another year.”
More skaters could follow Ahn’s path in leaving the short track hotbed of South Korea, Ahn’s father told Reuters. Ahn had disagreements with the Korea Skating Union.
“I assure you, and I am saying this with confidence, there are some parents whose children won medals at the Olympics and who have told me if the [Korea Skating Union] keeps going like this, they are also considering switching nationalities,” Ahn Ki-won said.
First tweets from Olympians