victor ahn

Most decorated Olympians in Sochi, together in one photo

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Victor Ahn of Russia and Ireen Wuest of the Netherlands can both be very proud of their Sochi Olympics.

Ahn has earned four medals (including three golds) on the short track, while Wuest has earned five medals (including two golds) in long-track speedskating.

They are the most decorated male and female Olympians in Sochi, respectively.

And earlier on Saturday, they got together for a picture.

Two great competitors, indeed.

Victor Ahn cements himself as one of Sochi’s top performers

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Friday was a good day for Victor Ahn. A doubly good day.

Friday saw the Korean-born short track star earn two golds for Russia, one in the men’s 500m and one as the anchor for the men’s 5000m relay, to bring his Olympic gold count up to six – three as Victor Ahn, three as South Korea’s Ahn Hyun-Soo.

He’s also equaled retired U.S. legend and NBC Olympics analyst Apolo Ohno for the most Olympic short track medals with eight.

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Throw in his other Sochi gold from the 1000m and Ahn has emerged as one of the Sochi Olympics’ top performers with medals in all four of his events (he got the bronze in the 1500m).

And if not for Adelina Sotnikova’s triumph in ladies’ figure skating, he would likely be the host nation’s “Most Valuable Player” in these Games.

Ahn made his presence felt late in both of his wins on Friday.

In the 500m, he let his competitors fight it out ahead of him and slid to the back. Then when it came time to go, he went with a bang.

He quickly charged to second on the outside with two laps remaining, and then just after the bell sounded for the final lap, he made the race-winning pass on the inside of China’s Wu Dajing.

The Russian crowd roared in appreciation for their adopted star, and it wouldn’t be the only time they did so at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

The men’s 5000m relay started off with a crash between skaters from China and the Netherlands in the very first corner, instantly making the 45-lap race a two-team fight between the Russians and the Americans.

Team USA’s Chris Creveling took the lead with 15 laps to go, but there was still plenty of time for Ahn to do what he does.

With seven to go, Ahn moved to the point past J.R. Celski and was able to hold on in the final laps, applauding as he crossed the finish line.

The crowd returned that applause happily, paying homage to the king of short track.

Victor Ahn charges late for short track 500m gold; Celski 6th

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In the men’s 500m final, Russia’s Victor Ahn rallied from the back to claim his second gold in Sochi and his fifth Olympic gold overall. With the win, he’s now the first skater to win all four individual events in Olympic short track history.

Ahn, the Korea-born competitor who won three golds at the ’06 Torino Games but became a Russian citizen in 2011, made an outside move for second and then went to the inside of China’s Wu Dajing for the lead on the final lap. Dajing tried to make one last rally but was unable to complete a pass.

Ahn’s previous Sochi triumph in the men’s 1000m was met with mixed reactions in his homeland.

Officials from Korea’s skating union were severely criticized by fans and media alike after that win, and South Korea’s president called for an investigation into how the skater once known as Ahn Hyun-Soo got away from the country’s program.

Ahn himself didn’t take much criticism compared to the officials, but even so, you have to wonder how his 500m win will go over.

Of course, you don’t have to wonder about the Russians’ thoughts on that – they’re loving it.

Dajing got the silver in the end, while Canada’s Charle Cournoyer got the bronze.

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As for Team USA’s J.R. Celski, the world record holder in the 500m, he wound up sixth overall after finishing outside the top two in his semifinal heat and then finishing runner-up in the “B” Final.

SHORT TRACK – MEN’S 500m A FINAL
1. Victor Ahn (RUS), 41.312
2. Wu Dajing (CHN), 41.516
3. Charle Cournoyer (CAN), 41.617
4. Wenhao Liang (CHN), 1:13.590

6. J.R. Celski (USA), 2nd in B Final