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Sochi Olympics champion in short track Viktor Ahn says glad he moved to live in Russia

February 16, 2014, 13:01 UTC+3 SEOUL
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SEOUL, February 16, 12:36 /ITAR-TASS/. Short track skater Viktor Ahn, who was born as Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea and who won gold in men’s 1,000 meters short track race Saturday, said he made the right choice several years ago by moving to live in Russia.

He said he did not want to quite short track after a trauma he sustained in 2008 and that is why he came to Russia, which turned out to have the best possible conditions for training out of all other countries.

The gold medal he won Saturday was very important because it showed he had made the right choice, Ahn said.

Members of this family say following the trauma Viktor was denied a deserved chance to return to elite sports and to get entered in the national Olympic team.

The circumstances, in which Ahn had resettled to Russia, moved into limelight after his victory of a bronze medal in men's 1,500 race. The whole story got so much focus that it even prompted Park Geun-hye issued an instruction to sports officials to do an inquiry into a possible influence of corruption on Ahn's decision to change citizenship.

Viktor admitted that he had made some effort not to burst into tears on Monday upon winning bronze at the 1,500 m distance because he wanted to see the minute when he would win a gold medal. "It's really difficult to describe the feelings I had then."

When a reporter remarked that Ahn all alone had made Russia a power to reckon with in short track, Ahn said that his pals in the Russian national team were good athletes.

"When I came here I saw they were better than I had expected," Viktor said. "I'm confident we all of us started doing our job better by helping one another at training sessions."

He has one more dream to fulfill in Sochi -- to win gold in the relay race so that the team could celebrate the victory all together because his teammates had done really much for him in the times of trouble.

After the run, Viktor embraced the South Korean athlete Da Woon Sin, who had been punished for impeding another competitor. He said his relations with the South Korean short track racers competing in Sochi remained friendly and normal.

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