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Viktor Ahn

Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Olympics
Short Track RUS

Viktor Ahn

Viktor Ahn
  • Birth date 11/23/1985
  • Birthplace Seoul, South Korea
  • Hometown Seoul, South Korea
  • Residence Moscow, Russia
  • Height/Weight 5'8"/ 143 lbs
  • Olympics 2002, 2006, 2014

Biography

Viktor Ahn’s decorated short track career will come full circle in PyeongChang as he competes in front of his home country—for his adopted country’s flag. Born and raised in Seoul, Ahn represented South Korea at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics using his birth name, Ahn Hyun-Soo. He became the first Korean man to win three or more medals in a single Winter Olympics when he captured three golds and a bronze at the 2006 Torino Games. Ahn was easily the most dominant short track athlete during this period, winning five straight overall world titles from 2003 to 2007. But in early 2008, Ahn fractured his knee after colliding with a fence during practice. He had to undergo four knee surgeries, and didn’t recover in time to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Left off the South Korean Olympic and national teams, Ahn felt cast aside by the federation he’d won 29 world championship medals for. His father contacted the Russian speed skating federation, and by the end of 2011 Ahn had moved to Moscow, become a Russian citizen and changed his name to Viktor. The drastic change paid off when Ahn won a history-making four Olympic medals, three golds and a bronze, at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He became the first Russian man to win an Olympic medal in short track, the first short track skater to win gold medals in all four Olympic distances and the short track athlete with the most Olympic golds of all time (six). With eight total Olympic medals, Ahn is tied with Apolo Ohno for most decorated Olympic short track skater. A few weeks after Sochi, Ahn won three medals, including overall gold, at the 2014 World Championships. But he would miss the world podium at the next two championships. When he returned to the medal stand at the 2017 Worlds, it was a bronze in the non-Olympic distance of 3000m.
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Getting to know Viktor Ahn

1

Earned four medals at the 2006 Torino Olympics competing for South Korea

2

Won four medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics competing for Russia

3

Birth name is Ahn Hyun-Soo. Chose the name “Viktor” for its winning implications

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