Koreans traditionally celebrate Lunar New Year by eating bowls of rice cake soup called Tteokguk and playing the board game Yutnori with friends and family. Already one of the most important holidays in the Republic of Korea, this year, Koreans will also gather together to cheer on their best winter sports athletes.
Sungbin Yun added to the day’s festivities when he slid his way to Olympic gold in the men’s skeleton, winning Korea’s first-ever gold in the event. Yun won the race by 1.63 seconds, the largest margin in the history of men’s Olympic skeleton.
The action didn’t stop there for Korean athletes on Lunar New Year. Magnus Kim, a Youth Olympic Games three-time medallist, competed in the men’s 15km race.
While the holiday period technically ends on Saturday, Korean super stars will keep their compatriots cheering on Sunday when Sang-hwa Lee attempts to defend her Olympic title for the third consecutive Olympic Winter Games in the ladies’ 500m speed skating event.
Hyojun Lim already had his compatriots roaring on 10 February when he skated to Olympic gold in the men’s 1500m short track speed skating event. Lim was joined by his teammate Min Seok Kim on the 1500m podium. Even younger than Lim, 18-year-old Kim clocked the third-fastest time of the evening to score bronze in front of a home crowd.
While Kim has completed his competition schedule, Lim isn’t done yet. He will gear up for more Olympic gold on Sunday in the 1000m race on Sunday, as well as the 5000m relay on 22 February.
Three-time Olympic medallist Sukhee Shim will line up on Tuesday for the ladies’ 3000m relay alongside seven-time world championship medallist Minjeong Choi.