Lee Sang-hwa and Kodaira meet at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium “I feel like I’m going to cry again”
Lee Sang-hwa and Kodaira join forces as Gangwon 2024 co-organizing committee chairs and IOC role models Reunited on the 22nd at the stadium where they competed at the PyeongChang Olympics
Lee Sang-hwa (left) and Kodaira at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics
Lee Sang-hwa (34) and Nao Kodaira (37), who hugged each other and shed tears after their fierce competition at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, reunite at the place where they had their decisive battle six years ago. .
Lee Sang-hwa and Kodaira, as co-organizing committee chairs of the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games (hereinafter referred to as Gangwon 2024) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) role models, respectively, plan to visit the Gangneung Speed Skating Rink on the 22nd, when the first Gangwon 2024 speed skating competition will be held, and watch the event together.
The two did not hide their overwhelming emotions ahead of their ‘special meeting’.
Chairman Lee Sang-hwa met with reporters after watching the short track race at the Gangneung Ice Arena on the 21st and said, “It will be even more emotional because Godaira is the Pyeongchang Olympic champion. Watching the race together at the Gangneung Speed Skating Rink will be touching in itself.” “It’s the same. I feel like I’m going to cry again (like during the PyeongChang Olympics),” he said.
Nao Kodaira visits Gangneung speed skating rink for the first time in 6 years
Former Japanese speed skater Nao Kodaira is posing at the Gangneung speed skating rink where the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held on the 21st.Kodaira won the women’s 500m gold medal here in 2018 after a fierce competition with Lee Sang-hwa.
Kodaira also met with Korean and Japanese reporters at the Gangneung speed skating rink on the same day and said, “The Pyeongchang Olympics remain an important page in my life,” and added, “If I meet Lee Sang-hwa tomorrow, I will hold back my tears and hug him tightly.”
Kodaira added, “I remember going up to the stands and looking around this stadium for the first time during the Pyeongchang Olympics. Standing here again is meaningful and my heart is racing.”
The two had a touching race in the women’s 500m speed skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics held at the Gangneung Speed Skating Rink on February 18, 2018.
At that time, Kodaira won the gold medal with an Olympic record of 36.940 seconds, and Lee Sang-hwa won the silver medal with 37.330 seconds.
The results were not significant.The two athletes, who had not exchanged a word before the race, shed tears and hugged each other after the race.
The sight of the two players brought great emotion to the people of both countries.
Lee Sang-hwa and Kodaira continued their close friendship even after retirement.The two met while traveling between Korea and Japan, and at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, they reunited as commentators and athletes and encouraged each other.
Now, the two will join forces at Gangwon 2024 to promote promising players from around the world.
Organizing Committee Chairman Lee Sang-hwa and Kodaira plan to convey the Olympic spirit of friendly competition and friendship to younger athletes during the Games.
Kodaira said, “If there is no opponent (to compete), the game cannot be held,” and added, “I hope the players learn to respect each other and go back with a lot of experience.” 섯다