Soo has sights on Sochi 2014 for Russia after switching citizenship
Sunday, 02 October 2011
October 2 - South Korea's triple Olympic short track speed skating champion Ahn Hyun Soo has set his sights on claiming gold for Russia after taking citizenship, and hopes to represent his new country at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Soo has won three Olympic gold medals and a bronze, all at Turin 2006, for South Korea, after winning the 1,500 metres, 1,000 metres and the relay.
The Russian Skating Union hope that confirmation of the five time world champion's new citizenship will come this month, and their President Aleksei Kravtsov said: "This is by no means a visit of the guest worker, who'll win medals at our home Olympics in Sochi 2014, receive all the benefits – and then return to Korea.
"An Hyun-Soo has been interested in Russian culture for a long time, and has now begun actively studying the Russian language."
The 25-year-old missed out on the last Olympic Games in Vancouver due to a knee injury, and will now face a two year ban from competition under International Skating Union rules as a result of taking Russian citizenship.
He has been training with the Russian team for two months according to Sovietski Sport, and has received backing from the country's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.