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Cross-country gamble pays off for Korea's Magnus Kim

After finishing the men’s cross-country cross free final in two minutes, 59.56 seconds at Birkebeineren Cross-Country Stadium on Saturday, Magnus Kim secured Korea’s first Olympic medal in the history of cross-country skiing.

"It feels amazing. It's the best feeling ever, like a dream," he said. “The moment I felt I could win was when I took the lead at the first corner. I thought ‘here I go maximum speed, I can get at least a medal if I don’t fall’. I was just going strong, but not risky.”

"It feels amazing. It's the best feeling ever, like a dream."

The skier, who has already participated in senior competitions including the 2015 Cross-Country World Cup, was satisfied with his performance in a new event.

"I don't have that much experience [in cross-country cross free], but I think I managed it in a good way,” he said. "Today was one of my big days where everything goes well. It was a perfect start."

Cross-country gamble pays off for Korea's Magnus Kim The medallists in the men's cross-country cross free (from left): Norway's Thomas Helland Larsen, Korea's Magnus Kim and Lauri Mannila of Finland. Photo: YIS / IOC Thomas Lovelock

Norway’s Thomas Helland Larsen, who won silver in 3:00.73, said he could not “believe I won one of the first medals. This was a fun course, but you need to focus to stay on your feet."

Despite finding that “the last sprint was very hard”, Lauri Mannila of Finland hung on to take the bronze medal in 3:01.84.

Written by YIS / IOC EMMA LUPANO with IOC Young Reporter Emily Bayci

Emma Lupano is a reporter for the Lillehammer Youth Information Service ‘YIS’. Milan-based Emma has worked at the last five Olympic Games and also covered the Innsbruck 2012 and Nanjing 2014 YOGs.

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