Book Reviews

Special A.C.E. Stories

Online Paper (PDF)

Bids & Public Notices

NW Job Market


Special Sections

Asian Reporter Info

About Us

Advertising Info.

Contact Us
Subscription Info. & Back Issues



Currency Exchange

Time Zones
More Asian Links

Copyright © 1990 - 2019
AR Home


Where EAST meets the Northwest

"YUN! SUNG! BIN!" Yun Sungbin of South Korea starts a run during the menís skeleton competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Yunís four-run time of 3 minutes, 20.55 seconds was a staggering 1.63 seconds ahead of the silver medallist and the largest victory margin in Olympic skeleton history. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

From The Asian Reporter, V28, #4 (February 19, 2018), page 9.

Yunís the one: South Korea gets menís skeleton Olympic gold

By Tim Reynolds

The Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea ó Somehow, Yun Sungbin felt no pressure.

Heís a 23-year-old who was expected to win gold and nothing else at the PyeongChang Olympics, in his home country, with thousands of his countrymen showing up early to chant his name and await a coronation.

A daunting task? Not for skeletonís new king.

Yun won for fun at these Olympics, dominant by every single measure. His four-run time of 3 minutes, 20.55 seconds was a staggering 1.63 seconds ahead of silver medallist Nikita Tregubov of Russia ó the largest victory margin in Olympic skeleton history, and the largest margin in any Olympic sliding event since 1972.

"There was no reason to feel any pressure," Yun said. "I mean, itís my home track. So I can really feel at home here. And I think that I always believed it would come out greatly if I do the same things Iíve always done."

Someone, someday, might win a skeleton race at the Olympics by a bigger margin. But the totality of what Yun did canít be topped, only matched. He had the fastest start in all four runs. There are four spots on the course where split times were taken; he had the fastest one in all four of those, every time. So of course, he had the fastest finish in every heat as well.

Yunís lead kept growing and growing: 0.31 seconds after one heat, 0.74 seconds after two, 1.02 seconds after three. He set the start record then lowered his own track record in the final heat, going all-out even on his final slide and becoming the first South Korean to win a gold medal in any sliding event.

Put simply, none of the other 29 men ever had a chance.

"He smashed it," said Britainís Dom Parsons, who won the bronze.

Did he ever.

Most skeleton races are decided by tenths or hundredths of a second. The average winning margin in a menís World Cup skeleton race this season was 0.37 seconds. Matt Antoine of the U.S. is a World Cup race winner; he finished these Olympics in 11th place, 3.84 seconds behind Yun.

"Iím looking at this right now as the whole of my career, the last 15-plus years," Antoine said. "This is just one race. The result is what it is. To be here, with my family here, everyone supporting me, thatís all I could have asked for."

John Daly, the other American in the field, was 16th in his third Olympics.

Yun stepped onto the award podium shortly after finishing, arms skyward as his fans roared. They showed up early on a bright morning in the Taebaek Mountains, fully expecting to see the sort of dominance he himself envisioned when taking thousands of training runs on the track that was built for these Olympics, the track he knows better than anyone else in sliding.

"Yun! Sung! Bin!" they chanted, over and over. "Yun! Sung! Bin!"

Yun delivered.

"Getting the gold medal in any Olympics is a very great result," Yun said. "But getting the gold here in my home country is a very great honor, much bigger than that."

Happy New Year, indeed. On a national holiday in South Korea ó the start of the Lunar New Year ó Yun became a national hero.

"Yun Sungbin is a very strong athlete," Tregubov said. "I believe he has no minuses. Excellent start. He stays calm. Excellent technique. He is better than me."

There was no shame in saying that. Yun was better than everyone.

Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <>!