Siblings on the hunt for skating gold

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Siblings on the hunt for skating gold

Siblings Kim Cheol-min and Kim Dam-min are one week away from competing for Korea in short-track speed skating at the Asian Winter Games in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The two are young and have plenty of talent. Dam-min, 16, won a gold medal in the women’s 3,000-meter relay at the end-of-December ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Changchun, China, and Cheol-min, 19, placed first in the men’s 1,500-meter at the World Cup in Shanghai one week later.

It was the first time in the history of Korea’s national short-track program that siblings won gold medals at international events.

“Cheol-min has great stamina and Dam-min is agile and explosive,” said short-track national team coach Kim Se-woo.

“Both siblings are young, but they don’t get rattled under pressure and are composed in competitions. That’s their biggest strength,” the coach added.

Their father, Kim Dae-seok, is the head of a custom-skate manufacturing company.

National long-track speed skaters and Olympic gold medalists Mo Tae-bum and Lee Seung-hoon are among his clients.

“Our father started in the skate manufacturing business after we got involved in the sport,” said Dam-min. “I can’t slack off because I’m reminded of my father’s hard work with every stride I take on the rink.”

Coming off strong performances at the recent World Cup, the siblings are now aiming for gold medals at the Winter Asiad.

“I want to win gold in the relay and am aiming for an individual gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games,” said Dam-min.

As for Cheol-min, his role on the national team at the Winter Asiad is still up in the air because he is temporarily in the spot of injured Um Cheon-ho, who might return to competition in Kazakhstan.

“If I can compete at the Winter Asian Games, I want to be able to contribute with a gold medal,” said Cheol-min. “Even if I can’t compete, I will be rooting for my younger sister and prepare for the Sochi Winter Games.”

The Asian Winter Games run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6.


By On Nu-ri [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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