Lee Seung-hoon

Lee Seung-hoon (Hangul: 이승훈, Hanja: 李承勳,[2] Korean pronunciation: [i.sɯŋ.ɦun]; born 6 March 1988)[1] is a South Korean speed skater. He won a gold medal in the 10,000 metres, a silver medal in the 5000 meters at the 2010 Winter Olympics, becoming the first Asian man to ever achieve these feats, and a gold medal in the mass start at the 2016 World Championships in Kolomna. He was a short track speed skater, winning the 2008 World Championship 3000 m super-final and three gold medals at the 2009 Winter Universiade. Lee converted to long track in September 2009, as he failed to earn his spot on the South Korea national short track team in the national trials.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Lee Seung-hoon
Lee Seung-Hoon from acrofan.jpg
Personal information
Born (1988-03-06) 6 March 1988 (age 33)
Seoul, South Korea
Height1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight70 kg (154 lb)[1]
Country South Korea
SportSpeed skating
Short track speed skating
Lee Seung-hoon
Revised RomanizationI Seunghun
McCune–ReischauerI Sŭnghun

Early lifeEdit

Lee Seung-hoon started skating when he was in first grade at Lila Elementary School. However, when the Asian Financial Crisis hit South Korea, his father's business failed in 1998 when he was in the fourth grade. Lee's parents tried to get their son to give up skating because they could not afford the training fee any more. Although they sold their car, Lee insisted on continuing skating and went to the ice rink by bus. Lee was a short track speed skater at Sinmonk High School and Korea National Sport University, but the competition between skaters was very high. Lee was evaluated as a rising rookie, but could not surpass Ahn Hyun-Soo and Lee Ho-Suk.[10][11]

Lee faced a wall after he was not selected as a national player in the South Korean national competition held in April 2009. Since Lee was expected to become one of the national skaters, his frustration over the result could have led him to give up skating. However, after a long consideration, Lee declared in front of his family that he would switch to long track speed skating. Lee assumed he could at least become a candidate in the other genre even though Choi Geun-won was considered the long track speed skater going to represent South Korea. Lee excelled, skating a record of 6 minutes 48 seconds and defeating Choi to become a South Korean national skater.[10]

Lee has been close friends with gold medalists Mo Tae-bum and Lee Sang-hwa since they were in grade school. In speed skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Mo won the gold medal at the men's 500 meter race and took silver at the 1000 meter race, while Lee Sang-hwa won the women's 500 meters.


Lee in Kolomna at the 2016 Single Distance World Championships after the finish of 10000m race

One of Lee's first major international competitions was at the 2009 Winter Universiade in Harbin, China. Lee captured three gold medals in short track speed skating in the 1000, 1500 and 3000 metre events, a feat only bettered by countryman Sung Si-Bak during the 2007 Winter Universiade in Turin, Italy, winning every distance, the 500, 1000, 1500, 3000 and 5000 m relay. Regardless of his successes Lee shocked many observers by failing to earn a spot on South Korea's national short track team in April 2009. Later that year in September, Lee switched from short track to long track speed skating.[12]

On 4 January 2010, in an interview with Arirang, Lee was quoted during an interview as saying: "I would like to tear down the barriers and show the world that Asians can excel in the speed skating program, too, not just in the short track program."[13] Most commentators pointed out that at the time no Asian had ever won a medal in long distance speed skating categories at the Olympics.[14] Relatively obscure in his new field, Lee surprised everyone by finishing the men's 5000 meters in a time of 6 minutes, 16.95 seconds at the 2010 Winter Olympics, placing second only behind Sven Kramer of the Netherlands who clocked in at 6 minutes, 14.60 seconds.[14] He then went on to win the gold medal in the 10000 meter final, after Kramer was disqualified for finishing in the wrong lane.[3] Lee stated afterward: "My coaches told me at first that Kramer had made a mistake and I saw it on the replay they were showing on the big screen. I want to compete with Kramer again."[15]


Personal recordsEdit

Personal records[16]
Men's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 36.34 7 March 2015 Olympic Oval, Calgary
1000 m 1:23.90 1 December 2001 Korea National Training Center, Seoul
1500 m 1:45.93 8 March 2015 Olympic Oval, Calgary
3000 m 3:39.43 12 August 2012 Olympic Oval, Calgary Current South Korean record[17]
5000 m 6:07.04 10 November 2013 Olympic Oval, Calgary Current South Korean record[17]
10000 m 12:55.54 15 February 2018 Gangneung Oval, Gangneung, South Korea Current South Korean record[17]

Olympic recordsEdit

Distance Time Date Location Source
10000 m 12:58.55 24 February 2010 Richmond [18]


  1. ^ a b c "Seung-Hoon Lee". Vancouver2010.com. Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  2. ^ 이승훈[permanent dead link] (in Korean) Korean National Team official website
  3. ^ a b "Kramer and Kemkers will continue to work together". Canadian Television. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  4. ^ "Kramer captures gold in 5,000 m". Canadian Television. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  5. ^ "Wang Meng takes women's, Lee Ho-Suk men's 1000 meters". China Daily. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  6. ^ "FACTBOX-Olympics-Speedskating-Gold medallist Lee Seung-hoon". Reuters. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  7. ^ "World Championships Begin in Beijing". World Short Track. 2005-03-11. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  8. ^ "Lee Seung-hoon Becomes Triple Gold Medallist". Korea Times. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  9. ^ "Lee Seung Hoon wins South Korea's second gold". SINA. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  10. ^ a b (2010-2-24) <가난ㆍ시련도 이승훈 `빙상의지' 못 꺾어>(종합) (in Korean) Yonhap.
  11. ^ (2010-2-25) “상화 까칠녀” “승훈 품절남” “태범 모터범” (in Korean) The Hankyoryeh.
  12. ^ "Kramer Takes Gold, Lee Dreams In Speed Skating". CBS Sports. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  13. ^ "Arirang Today 07:00". Arirang. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  14. ^ a b "Lee Seung-hoon Surprises With 5,000-Meter Silver Medal". The Korea Times. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  15. ^ "S. Korean Lee Enjoys Lucky Gold in Men's 10,000 m Speed Skating". CRIEnglish. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  16. ^ "Seung-Hoon Lee (88)". www.speedskatingresults.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  17. ^ a b c "National Records – Korea (KOR)". www.speedskatingresults.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Speed Skating – Men's 10,000 Metre". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2010-02-13.

External linksEdit