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5 solutions that led to the success of Victor Ana
Solution one: choose a sport
He started skating in elementary school, initially he did it "for general development", but after seeing the success of Korean short trackers at the 1994 Olympiad in Norwegian Lillehammer, he understood: he too must get an Olympic medal. So the short track became the meaning of his life.
Victor An remembers how much the Korean athlete Chae Dzhigun, who won the gold medal at a distance of 500 meters, made a huge impression on him, and stresses that his own victories are meant to inspire others: "Before the Olympics in Sochi, the short track was not popular in Russia . Thanks to our team, the situation has changed. Short track fell in love. In Russia now, many thousands of people have learned what a short track is and who Victor An is. Children probably want to start doing our sport in sections. "
Solution two: confront conflict
2003 – 2006 years for the Korean short track became scandalous. Already after An became a Russian, his father confessed: “I will insist that my youngest son also change his citizenship. I will not allow him to go through what his older brother was forced to endure. ”
At the 2006 Olympics, Ahn Hyun-soo won two gold and set a world record, but his success did not bring a friendly atmosphere to the team. His victory exposed the unhealthy spirit of rivalry in the team: in the final race in a row, three Koreans walked, An won, and the other two, instead of bringing the country silver and bronze, faced and dropped out of the race for prizes. Just a few months later, Ana’s father nearly fought with the vice-president of the Korea Skating Union, accusing him of inciting other athletes to prevent An’s victory at the World Championships.
Ana's father has always been a buffer between an athlete and bureaucratic squabbles. He still takes a blow to himself, giving his son the opportunity not to be distracted from the main thing. "I'm speaking, and my father distributes the interview," says Victor An. - After them there was a polarity of opinions, a discussion. And it will benefit the whole sport. Before that, the spirit of protectionism and nepotism reigned in the Korean federation ... This is one of the reasons for my departure. "
Solution three: do not give up
In 2010, Victor again failed to get into the national team. Due to the regular scandals in the Skating Union, the qualifying competitions were postponed from April to October. This knocked down the training schedule - in the end, Ana only 7 place. One of the most popular and once the most successful athletes of Korea was not needed by anyone, and everyone advised him to hang up his skates on a nail:
The fourth decision: to come to Russia
Becoming a citizen of Russia, An Hyun-soo chose a new name for himself - Victor: “The choice is connected with the word“ Victor ”, which means“ victory ”. It turns out symbolically, I want this name to bring me luck. I know another Korean named Victor, who is very popular in Russia and well-known in Korea - this is Viktor Tsoi. I would like to become as famous in Russia. I listened to his songs - and I wanted to be Viktor Tsoi of the short track! ”
At the Sochi Olympics, Victor An won the first gold in the history of our country in the short track. His result has surpassed even the most daring predictions: three gold and one bronze medal. "For me in Sochi, the hardest day was the last day of the competition. By this point, I seem to have already won two medals, but ahead there were two more distances. I remember waking up in the morning and realized that there was almost no strength. In addition, the races that evening went one after another. I do not know how I endured it, - Recalls An.
The fifth solution: not to part with your loved ones
“Of course, for every athlete, a dream is to win an Olympic medal. I still do not believe that I showed such a result. This is happiness. I'm happy. My result is the same as in Turin, but the sensations are different. After Turin, I had a serious injury. It was harder to compete here than in Turin. So here I am very happy ", - says Victor.