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At Last, U.S. Speed Skater Ohno Plans to Compete in Korea

At Last, U.S. Speed Skater Ohno Plans to Compete in Korea

Posted September. 24, 2005 07:12,   


American short-track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno will finally visit Korea.

USA Today reported on September 24 that the 23-year-old American skater has decided to compete in the 2005-2006 Second Short-track World Cup at the Mokdong ice-rink, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, from October 7 to 9.

The paper also said Yuki Ohno, father of Anton Ohno, also plans to come to Seoul to cheer his son.

In the 1,500m final at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, Ohno was awarded the gold medal after disqualifying Korean skater Kim Dong-seong, who crossed the finish line first, with a highly controversial move. Since then, he has become the Korean people’s “public enemy.” In November 2003, he withdrew from the Jeonju World Cup after receiving threats, even after submitting the final entry for the game.

Ohno hesitated to visit Korea this time as well, but he made up his mind because he cannot give up this game in Korea, which is one of the four World Cups, ahead of the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

The American skater told USA Today, "Hopefully, some of the fans will have calmed down and kind of understand the real situation. But that`s out of my control. I`m just an athlete trying to perform my best at competitions."

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com