Who is Seung-Hoon Lee?
Lee Seung-hoon was born on the 6th of March 1988. He is a South Korean speed skater. He won the gold medal in the 10,000 m event and the silver medal in the 5000 m event at the 2010 Winter Olympics, thereby becoming the first Asian man to ever achieve these victories. Lee also won a gold medal in the mass start event at the 2016 World Championships in Kolomna.
He was initially a short track speed skater, winning the 2008 World Championship 3000 m super-final and three gold medals at the 2009 Winter Universiade. Lee later converted to long track in September 2009 because he had failed to earn his spot on the South Korea national short track team.
Lee Seung-hoon began skating when he was just in first grade at the Lila Elementary School. Lee's family had financial issues and could not afford his skating fee, but he insisted on continuing skating and used to go to the ice rink by bus.
Lee was an acclaimed short track speed skater at Sinmonk High School and Korea National Sport University, but the competition between skaters was very tough. Lee was evaluated as a rising rookie with great potential, but he could not surpass Ahn Hyun-Soo and Lee Ho-Suk, who were both better skaters.
After facing many difficulties in his career so far, Lee assumed he could at least become a candidate in a different genre even though Choi Geun-won was considered the long track speed skater going to represent South Korea. Much to his surprise later, Lee excelled, and defeated Choi to become a South Korean national skater.
Lee has been nicknamed as Ggotminam skater by his friends. The athlete's wife is Du Solbi. Lee can speak only Korean. He was trained under coach Baek Chul-Gi and Bob de Jong.
Lee has represented the Republic of Korea in short track and was part of the 5000 m relay team that claimed gold at the 2008 World Championships in Gangneung. He has also competed in speed skating, winning gold in the 10,000 m at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Once, Lee cut his right calf on his skating blade after falling during the team pursuit at the 2017 World Single Distances Championships. He required eight stitches.
Lee began skating in 1994 in Seoul and took up speed skating in 2009. He took up the sport because he was influenced by his older sister.
Seung-hoon Lee regards the Korean footballer Park Ji-Sung as his hero. He believes in the philosophy, "Speed skating is a battle with yourself. You don't need to think about anything; you just keep focusing on your own skating. When I was a short track skater, I had to constantly worry about all the other skaters during the race."
Seung-Hoon Lee was part of the team that received the Best Group Award at the 2014 Coca-Cola Athletics Awards Ceremony in Korea.
In 2011, Lee received the Best Performance Award from the Korean Olympic Committee [KOC]. He was also presented with the KOC President's Award in the same year.
He was named Best Athlete at the 2010 Coca-Cola Athletics Awards Ceremony.
Seung-Hoon Lee believes his background in short track gives him an advantage over his rivals when skating around corners. "When I saw other countries' international skaters race in the corners, I thought they looked like beginners. I don't want to criticise others, but compared to short trackers, the long track skaters' skill on the corner is low."
Despite competing in the relatively shorter distances in short track, Lee chose to concentrate on the 5000m and 10,000m events when he shifted to speed skating. "The reason I chose the 5000m, not the 500m or 1500m, is because my strength is stamina and my weakness is quickness. I'm not that tall, but I'm proud of my stamina. If there were a 20,000m event, I guarantee that I'd win it."
Lee served as an ambassador for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang and the 2010 Tour de Korea.
One of Lee's first big international competitions was the 2009 Winter Universiade in Harbin, China, where he claimed three gold medals in short track speed skating in the 1000, 1500, and 3000 meter events. This was a feat which was only beat by Lee's countryman Sung Si-Bak during the 2007 Winter Universiade in Turin, Italy. Sung Si-Bak won every distance: the 500, 1000, 1500, 3000, and 5000 m relay.
Regardless of his successes, Lee failed to earn a spot on South Korea's national short track team in April 2009. Eventually, Lee switched from short track to long track speed skating.
Lee surprised everyone by finishing the men's 5000 meters in record time at the 2010 Winter Olympics, placing second only behind Sven Kramer of the Netherlands who won marginally. He then went on to claim the gold medal in the 10000 meter final, after Kramer was disqualified for finishing in the wrong lane.
Net worth of Seung-Hoon Lee
The net worth of the skater is currently unknown.
Seung-Hoon Lee might be accessing his Instagram account via a private name. He does not have his official Instagram page yet, although there are a few photos from his Olympic events and from his competitions on Instagram posted by fans.