Top athletes honored at Coca-Cola Sports AwardsSkeleton slider Yun Sung-bin and speed skater Lee Seung―hoon were named the co-winners of the grand prize at the nation’s amateur athlete awards Wednesday for their performances at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
At the 23rd Coca―Cola Sports Awards in Seoul, Yun and Lee were honored with the top award. The annual award has been given to amateur athletes since 1995. Previous winners include marathoner Hwang Young―cho, figure skater Kim Yu―na, swimmer Park Tae―hwan and shooter Jin Jong-oh.’
Yun became the first Asian to win a gold medal in sliding sports at a Winter Olympic Games after he topped the men’s skeleton at PyeongChang 2018.
“I won the top rookie award in the past, and now with this award, it just feels good that I’ve got these two great awards,” he said. “I hope many people can recognize skeleton through me.”
Lee won gold in the men’s mass start and silver in the team pursuit competition at the PyeongChang Olympics. He is now Asia’s all-time leader in speed skating medals with five ― two gold and three silver.
“I never imagined that I would win this award again eight years later,” he said. “I’ll also try to win gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.”
Short tracker Choi Min―jeong, who earned two gold medals at PyeongChang 2018, and alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho, who became the first South Korean to win an Olympic medal in snow sports after claiming silver in parallel giant slalom at the PyeongChang Olympics, also received honors in the individual athlete category. Para Nordic skier Sin Eui-hyun, who delivered South Korea’s first Winter Paralympic Games gold medal at the PyeongChang Paralympic Games, was named the top disabled athlete.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” Sin said. “I’ll keep working hard and will inspire many people.”
The South Korean four-man bobsleigh team ― Won Yun-jong, Seo Young-woo, Jun Jung-lin and Kim Dog-hyun ――and women’s curling team―― Kim Eun-jung, Kim Yeong-mi, Kim Seon-yeong and Kim Kyeong-ae ― shared the best team award. The two teams bagged silver at PyeongChang 2018.
Short tracker Lim Hyo-jun, who claimed gold in the men’s 1,500m at PyeongChang 2018, and swimmer An Se-hyeon, who set national record in the women’s 200m butterfly at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships, took the rookie of the year awards.
The top coaching award went to Lee Yong, who leads the skeleton and bobsleigh national team.
The women’s national ice hockey team and its head coach Sarah Murray took the achievement award. South Korea and North Korea formed an historic joint women’s ice hockey team at PyeongChang 2018, with Murray in charge. Although it didn’t post a single victory, the unified Korean team made its way into the history books as a symbol of harmony and peace through sports.
Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa received the special award for her performance in the women’s 500m at PyeongChang 2018. Following her two straight gold medals in the women’s 500m at previous two Olympics, she claimed silver in her homeland but showed great sportsmanship with gold medalist Nao Kodaira of Japan by encouraging and congratulating each other on the ice.
The women’s short track team of Choi Min-jeong, Shim Suk-hee, Kim A-lang and Kim Ye-jin that won gold in the 3,000m relay at PyeongChang 2018 took the clean sports award.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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