Olympic speed skating champion to retire, eyes new sport

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Mo Tae-Bum, the 2010 Olympic 500m champion and 1000m silver medalist, will retire from speed skating and said he is thinking about taking up competitive cycling, according to Yonhap News Agency.

“It’s not going to be an easy challenge,” Mo said, according to the report. “But I’ve entered a few races before.”

Mo, 29, was a surprise medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Games, taking South Korea’s first Olympic title in a sport other than short track speed skating.

He came into those Olympics without a World Cup 500m podium, then beat countrymen and favorites Lee Kang-Seok and Lee Kyou-Hyuk at the Games. He also finished .18 behind Shani Davis in the 1000m.

Mo competed in two more Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang with a best finish of fourth in the 2014 Olympic 500m. He also won world 500m titles in 2012 and 2013.

Speed skaters often train and compete in cycling. Eric Heiden, who won five speed skating golds at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, took part in the 1986 Tour de France (but didn’t finish). Canadian Clara Hughes earned two Olympic road cycling bronze medals in 1996, then four Olympic speed skating medals between 2002 and 2010.

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