Lee Jung-Su, the last South Korean man to win short track gold, has reportedly switched to long-track speed skating after failing to make the PyeongChang Olympic short track team.
Lee, 27, won the 1000m and 1500m at the 2010 Vancouver Games in South Korea’s most successful Winter Olympic sport.
He made this same switch four years ago after missing the 2014 Olympic team in short track but did not make the Sochi long-track team, either, according to Yonhap News Agency.
After his countrymen went medal-less in Sochi, Lee switched back to short track and was the top South Korean skater the last World Cup season, ranking sixth in the world.
But Lee made zero A finals at the world championships and reportedly placed eighth at the Olympic Trials in April, missing the five-man Olympic team.
Lee is focusing on the new Olympic event of mass start, which is similar to short track pack skating but on the long-track oval, according to Yonhap.
The mass start is nearly 6000m and takes nearly eight minutes, more than three times that of the longest individual Olympic short track event.
South Korea can put no more than two men into the Olympic mass start. A favorite is Lee Seung-Hoon, the 2010 Olympic 10,000m champion who won the 2016 World title in mass start.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!
MORE: S. Korea hockey coach: My expectation is gold
With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.