Short-track speed skater Liu Shaoang led throughout the men’s 500-meter event on Sunday to win Hungary’s first-ever individual gold medal at a Winter Olympics, as well as the country’s first gold medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Chinese Hungarian athlete defeated Russian athlete Konstantin Ivliev and Canada’s Steven Dubois, who took the silver and bronze medals respectively, reported Reuters.
Liu also won the bronze medals in the mixed team relay and the 1,000-meter event.
Expressing disbelief upon his historic victory, Liu told reporters during the post-game interview, “I’m still speechless. When I crossed the line, I didn’t show any emotions, because I still need some time to realize what happened.”
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“I think that when I go back home, my life will change,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s going to be crazy. We are here to make history.”
Liu was also previously part of the team that won Hungary’s only other gold medal at the Winter Olympics during the men’s short-track speed skating 5,000-meter relay in 2018. So far, Team Hungary has a total of 10 medals at the Winter Games.
“My mum stitched two flags together – the Hungarian flag and the Chinese flag,” Liu told Reuters prior to his gold medal win at Sunday’s event. “I want to win not only for the Hungarian people and not only for myself, I want to win for the Chinese people as well. I am 50/50. If I get any medal, 50% is for China and 50% is for Hungary.”
Last week, both the South Korean team and the Hungarian team filed separate protests with the International Skating Union (ISU) regarding the alleged biased officiating, as NextShark previously reported. Both complaints were immediately dismissed.
The Hungarian team’s complaint involved Liu’s older brother, Shaolin Sandor Liu, who was disqualified in the final of the men’s 1,000-meter event. Meanwhile, South Korea’s appeal was over the disqualification of skater Hwang Dae-heon, who eventually went on to win South Korea’s first gold medal at the 2022 Games with a victory in the men’s 1,500-meter event.
Featured Image via Magyarock (left) PikaSports (right)