‘Ice Queen’ finds a shoe that fits… in a 0.001-second fight

Kim Min-sun, 24, of the Year of the Rabbit, had her best year yet in 2023.
She won the women’s 500 meters at the International Ice Skating Union (ISU) Speedskating World Cup 2022-2023, which concluded in February.

She won five gold and one silver medal in six races to lift the championship trophy. “

I’m happy to be crowned a skating queen,” said Kim.
But the 2023-2024 season, which began in October, was a bumpy ride.

She finished fifth in the first round of the competition and failed to win the second two races, finishing second and third.

The reason for her sudden decline was her skate shoes.

She changed her shoes before the season and found them uncomfortable.
“Athletes talk about how it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to find a pair of shoes that fit you perfectly,” says Kim. “

It’s a sport where every second counts, so you’re especially sensitive to your shoes.

I usually wear skate shoes for about three years, but I’ve been wearing my current pair for four.

I tried on a new pair of shoes to get used to them before the next Olympics (Milan 2026), but they were uncomfortable, so I had to go back to my old ones.”
The change solved the problem.

She won her first gold medal of the season at the third event and topped the first race of the fourth event.

She finished second in the second race behind Erin Jackson (USA).

She is now second in the World Cup standings (352 points) behind Jackson (374 points). “

I realized that it’s harder to stay on top than to be first,” Kim said.

I felt a lot of pressure, and it was hard to enjoy it,” he said.
There are three races left in the 2023-24 season, which runs until next February.

It’s impossible to win them all.

But a first-place finish in all three would open up the possibility of an upset. “

I feel confident that I can do well,” Kim said.

I’m not sure, but I’ll do my best until the end.”
In terms of technique, she is most concerned about her start. “

My 100m times this season have been in the 10.5-10.6 range, but in my last race, I ran 10.49 for the first time.

My goal is to get into the 10.4s and then the 10.3s,” she said.
Kim first started skating at the age of 11. She started out in a short track hobby class, then switched to long track and excelled. “

In short track, there’s a lot of fighting and a lot of variables.

I like to run alone, so speedskating seemed to be the right fit.”

After winning a gold medal in the 500 meters at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, the following July, Kim clocked 37.70, breaking the world junior record of 37.81 set by Lee Sang-hwa in 2007.

The title of “Lee Sang-hwa’s heir apparent” was born. 호텔카지노

But just 10 days before her first Olympic Games, PyeongChang 2018, she suddenly developed back pain. “

The (lumbar) pain was so severe that I couldn’t even wash my face.

It also hurt when I bent down to put on my shoes.

I took painkillers and went to the Olympics, but it was harder to recover because I overexerted myself.

I struggled with different diagnoses at different hospitals.

I went through various treatments and rehabilitation and did core strengthening exercises,” she says.

However, she finished seventh in Beijing, where she was expected to medal.
However, since last year, her back pain has disappeared and her performance has improved.

With the advice of Uijeongbu City Hall head coach Jegal Seong-ryul, she was able to train for medium and long distances and run strong until the end of the race. “

Suddenly, the pain disappeared.

It’s hard to believe, but at the same time, I think it’s a good thing,” said Kim.
In June, she also had a meaningful time.

She held her first fan meeting and met her fans. “I was half excited and half worried,” says Kim.

We don’t get to meet our fans often because of international competitions, but it was great to show them a new side of us.

I felt empowered by the feeling of ‘I’m really being supported’.”

They also performed a dance to a song by girl group BLACKPINK for their fans.

“I went to cram school and worked hard,” said Kim.

I’ve played in front of large crowds before, but it was a completely different feeling,” she laughed.
When she’s having a hard time, she heals by spending time with her dog, Moka. “

I used to have hobbies like baking and being active, but now I like to take a break.

I like to walk my dog, meet friends, eat, and go to cafes.”

He added, “Moka was a puppy that I got from an abandoned dog near the Jincheon Athletes’ Village.

The moment I saw her, I wanted to keep her,” he said.
There are two years and two months left until Milan. “

I will improve my skills for the next two years,” said Kim, who was moved to tears by the disappointment of not winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics.

“It’s not the same thing, but if I win a medal at the Olympics, I will cry again.

I hope I can cry after winning a gold medal.”

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