She Just Won an Olympic Gold Medal, But Instead of Celebrating, She Turned to Comfort Her Rival
Japanese speed skater Nao Kodaira, who recently won the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, comforted her longtime competitor, South Korea’s Lee Sang-hwa.
Kodaira won the medal on Sunday in the 500m (meters) women’s speed skating event, setting a new Olympic record with a score of 36.94, while Lee only managed to earn the silver medal with a score of 37.33, Yahoo Sports reported.
Mutual respect between ‘rivals’ Nao Kodaira and Lee Sang-hwa, who finished first and second in the women’s 500 meters speed skating. via /r/sports https://t.co/VVYNbvUMkN
Instead of celebrating her own victory, Kodaira immediately turned her attention to Lee to see if she was alright. The two athletes continued to skate alongside each other while Kodaira embraced Lee to console her when she began to cry.
Beautiful moment of sportsmanship on the #SpeedSkating long track as 500m gold medal winner Nao Kodaira of #JPN comforted the silver medalist Lee Sang-hwa of #KOR as she was heartbroken that she had not defended her Olympic title. Love this stuff. #PyeongChang2018#Olympics
@Nao_kodaira Congratulations on your winning of golden medal today, and renewing olympic record! And, as one of Korean, I really thank you. You must have been a great comfort to Lee Sang-Hwa and her last appearance.
While speaking with Japan Times, Kodaira went on to call Lee her friend, saying, “We have competed against each other for many years. I really respect her and I really look up to her. as a human being and a skater.”
Congratulations to Kodaira and Lee for winning the gold and silver medals.
Featured image screenshot via YouTube / Ayumu 1440
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