Winter Games Athletes
Lee likely couldn't have scripted a better Olympic debut than the one he had in 2010 in Vancouver. He won gold in the 10,000 meters while setting an Olympic-record time of 12:58.55 and also took home a silver with a 6:16.95 finish in the 5,000 to become the first Asian male to achieve both feats. Throw in a fifth as a member of South Korea's team pursuit squad and Lee accomplished more in two weeks than most Olympians do in a lifetime of competition. Lee's victory in the 10,000 in Vancouver, however, was a bit overshadowed after favorite Sven Kramer of the Netherlands was disqualified for finishing in the wrong lane. Kramer is again favored to win both distances in Sochi, but Lee is expected to be in the mix for a podium finish in those races. He finished fourth in the 10,000 and a disappointing eighth in the 5,000 at the 2013 World Single Distance championships. However, he was a member of a team pursuit squad that won silver at the same competition. One year after winning Olympic gold, Lee set a personal-best time of 12:57.27 in the 10,000 on the Salt Lake City oval. In 2013, he set career bests in the 1,500 (1:47.38) and 5,000 (6:07.04). Lee began his career as a short-track speedskater and won the 2008 world championship in the 3,000-meters, but after he failed to make the national team he switched to long track in 2009.