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Olympic speed skating champion Mo Tae-bum to trade skates for a bicycle

All Headlines 09:26 March 22, 2018

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- 2010 Olympic speed skating champion Mo Tae-bum said Thursday he will soon trade his skates for a bicycle and embark on a second career.

Mo said he will have a retirement ceremony during a domestic speed skating competition at Taeneung International Rink in Seoul, which will be held from Monday to Wednesday.

"I am thinking of taking up competitive cycling," Mo said. "It's not going to be an easy challenge. But I've entered a few races before."

In this file photo from Feb. 19, 2018, South Korean speed skater Mo Tae-bum competes in the men's 500 meters during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Cycling is hardly new to Mo and other speed skaters, who often train on bicycles to strengthen their legs. Mo competed at a local masters cycling race alongside fellow speed skater Lee Seung-hoon in 2015 and has long been a cycling enthusiast.

Mo, 29, was a surprise gold medalist in the men's 500 meters at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. He also added a silver in the 1,000m at the same Olympics.

Mo also picked up 500m gold medals at the 2012 and 2013 world single distance championships.

Mo never won another Olympic medal after Vancouver, as he ranked fourth in the 500m in 2014 and 16th in the same event earlier this year at the PyeongChang Olympics.

During PyeongChang 2018's opening ceremony, Mo represented all participants in taking the Athletes' Oath.

An official with the Korea Skating Union (KSU) said Mo has expressed his intention to retire and that once he submits the official documents, the KSU will schedule his retirement ceremony.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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