Short tracker preparing for Olympic swan song in Beijing

JINCHEON, South Korea-- Just over a week after his 32nd birthday, South Korean short track speed skater Kwak Yoon-gy is ready to call it a career on the international stage.

Kwak said Wednesday the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be his last.

"I want to have a good finish to my international career and not embarrass myself out there," Kwak said at a joint press conference with other Beijing-bound athletes at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul.

Kwak made his Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010 and helped South Korea to silver in the men's 5,000m relay. He missed the next Olympics in Sochi four years later with injuries but returned for PyeongChang 2018 on home ice.

The 2012 world overall champion finished fourth in the national Olympic trials last May to earn a spot on his third Olympic team. He is the oldest short tracker for South Korea.

"At my two previous Olympics, I carried so much sense of urgency," Kwak said. "Now, I have taken a step back and I have tried to see the big picture. I want to keep the team loose."

South Korea has won 24 gold medals in short track, more than any other country in Olympic history, but will certainly face challenges from the host China and other countries. Kwak said some calls went against South Korea and in favor of China at the Beijing stop during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season, and added that South Korean skaters should be careful not to commit penalties in tight races.

"We have to make sure we don't leave any room for those calls at the Olympics," Kwak said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

You may also like...