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Decorated South Korean Olympian suspended one year

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Lee Seung-Hoon, South Korea’s most decorated male Winter Olympian, was suspended one year after May 2018 allegations of physically assaulting younger athletes, according to South Korean media.

Lee, who can appeal the ban to July 2020, has denied all allegations, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Lee, 31, is a five-time medalist across the last three Winter Games. is best known for being upgraded to gold in the 2010 Olympic 10,000m after Dutchman Sven Kramer skated in the wrong lane.

Lee earned another gold in the first Olympic mass start in PyeongChang last year, becoming one of four South Koreans to earn individual gold at their home Games.

With five medals and two golds, Lee passed short track skater Lee Ho-Suk as South Korea’s most decorated male Winter Olympian. He has not competed on the top international level since the PyeongChang Olympics.

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Lee Sang-Hwa, fastest female speed skater in history, retires

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Lee Sang-Hwa, a two-time Olympic 500m champion and the fastest woman ever in that sprint, has retired, according to South Korean media.

Lee, 30, had not competed on the World Cup since taking silver at the PyeongChang Olympics, where she was one of the host nation’s most high-profile athletes.

In fact, a pre-Games survey of 1,000 people by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism ranked Lee as the most anticipated South Korean athlete of the Olympics.

The self-described “Lego maniac” debuted at the Olympics in 2006 at age 16, then took 500m gold in 2010 and 2014. She also lowered the world record four times in 2013, bringing it to 36.36 seconds.

A right knee injury and the rise of Japan’s Nao Kodaira made Lee an underdog in PyeongChang. Indeed, Kodaira won in an Olympic and sea-level record 36.94 seconds, holding off Lee by .39.

“Actually, I felt pressure a bit to defend my title again,” Lee said after the race, according to Yonhap News Agency. “In the past, I was worried about falling from the top. But this time, she is the top dog, not me.

“Due to the knee injury, I had lost my sense of speed. It took a year and half to regain it. Finally, it’s over.”

A memorable moment occurred after when Kodaira put her arm around a tearful Lee, both skaters carrying the flags of their historically rival nations together in a show of unity.

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Two-time Olympic medalist Jennifer Rodriguez to be inducted into National Speed Skating Hall of Fame

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Jennifer Rodriguez, a four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist, will be inducted to the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame, U.S. Speedskating announced Friday.

The ceremony will take place Friday, June 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rodriguez made her Olympic debut at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where she also became the first Cuban-Amerian to compete in the Games.

At the 2002 Olympics, Rodriguez skated to two bronze medals in the 1000m and 1500m. She went on to compete at two more Games in 2006 and 2010.

“Learning that I was being inducted to the Hall of Fame this year, literally brought tears to my eyes,” Rodriguez said through U.S. Speedskating. “I am so humbled and honored to be able to receive this recognition. So many people have contributed to my success over the years, and this is for them as well. Thank you so very much!”

Rodriguez was one of the first inline speed skating world medalists to transition to speed skating on ice. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in exercise physiology.

Additionally, Paul Marchese will be inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame as a Contributor to the Sport. Marchese skated for many years at the national level before beginning his coaching and technical career designing and building speed skates. As the U.S. technical coach in the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games, and private coach in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Olympic Games, his technical innovations reshaped the speed skating landscape. Athletes equipped with Marchese skates have captured more than 130 Olympic medals over the past 30 years.

“I’m so very humbled to receive this honor,” Marchese said. “Speed skating has been a lifelong partner, providing so many opportunities that have defined my life and profession, and continues to bring my path across an incredible world of passionate people. I look forward to sharing an evening with my speed skating family and friends!”

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