“ANOTHER GOLD medal for Korea, they did it again!” This remark was very often made during the Winter Olympics, more specifically at the short-track skating competitions. Korea reigned as the ruler of short-track skating and is famous for rearing many world champions. Chun Lee-kyung (’95, Dept. of Physical Education) was among them. She won a countless number of world competitions and earned four gold medals in the Winter Olympics. No wonder why she is called “the Queen of Short-track Skating.” The Yonsei Annals had a pleasant talk with “the Queen,” who has now become a trainer for young skaters in Busan.
Beginning of her skating career
When I was born, I was only 1.7kg, which means I was born premature. The doctor recommended to my mother that I should start some kind of sport at an early age in order to strengthen my weak body. At first, I started swimming, which I was not good at. When I was seven, my brother started to take skating lessons and I found it very interesting. From that time on, I continued to skate until I retired in 1999.
A multi player
My mother was very passionate about my education since I was little. I experienced many things, in which skating was one of them. Being exposed to many different things, I came to have more desire to try as many activities as I can. I still have the desire to challenge myself in many sports apart from skating. That is why I tried golf and ice-hockey.
The secret for her consistency
For me, I think it is my hard training. In fact, I believe I was born without the assets that are necessary in skating, like body flexibility and endurance. I had to practice more during personal training sessions to acquire the skills that I was not born with. I think this contributed to my success.
Moving to Busan
I think that basic skills such as form and posture are very important in any sport. Skating is not an exception. However, in Korea, not all young skaters can receive good basic lessons. Most of the talented coaches are concentrated in the Seoul area. Therefore I decided to come down to Busan where I could teach the basic skills of skating to young skaters who don’t have the resources to train in Seoul.
Her future plans
For the time being, I want to teach the young ones in this region who cannot afford proper skating education. Another meaningful project that I am planning to participate in is the 2014 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Committee. The place for 2014 Winter Olympics will be decided on July 4th. Until that day, I will work as hard as I can in order to successfully attract the IOC to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics here at Pyeongchang.
Message to Yonseians
The most important thing that I want to say to Yonseians is that they should not be afraid of making mistakes and should challenge themselves. They also must try their best in whatever situation they are in. The important thing to remember is that they should not have any regrets and accept the outcomes. Every man has different strong points. You also have a strong point. So do not hesitate too much and take the plunge! Take the challenge!
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Her concern for the future of Korean skating was very impressive, especially since she moved to a place where she has no roots. We are sure that her endeavor will pay off in the future. She is truly the queen of the ice.