Viktor Ahn (Korean name: Ahn Hyun-soo), a former short track skater from Russia, is known to be promoting activities in Korea again, causing controversy. Victor Ahn recently applied for the position of ice team coach at Seongnam City Hall and had an interview.

It is known that former coach Kim Seon-tae, who coached the Korean national team at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the Chinese national team at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, also interviewed Victor. A total of seven people, including Viktor and Kim Seon-tae, applied for the Seongnam City Hall leadership recruitment announcement, and Seongnam City plans to announce the successful candidates by the end of this month.

Victor is considered a legendary athlete in the short track world. When he was active as a Korean national, Victor started wearing the Taegeuk mark at the age of 17 at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and achieved the feat of becoming the first Korean sportsman to win three Olympic gold medals at the 2006 Torino Olympics. He was also the first athlete to win four Olympic medals in a single event, adding a bronze medal as well.

However, Viktor went downhill for a while with repeated ups and downs. A knee injury forced him to shockly drop out of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics national team selection event, and later became embroiled in factional fighting within the Skating Federation and the short track team. In 2011, an incident occurred where his team, the Seongnam City Hall ice team, was disbanded. 스포츠토토

Viktor went to Russia later that year and suddenly declared his naturalization. Abandoning his Korean nationality and name, he returned to Russia, Viktor Ahn. He returned to the world stage at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and once again won three Olympic gold medals, proving his strength. However, at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, which was intended to be his retirement stage, he was caught up in a doping scandal in Russia and failed to participate. Viktor’s official retirement stage was the 2019/20 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup, where he won the gold medal to the end and ended his career with splendor.

Viktor, who later transformed into a leader, appeared as a coach for the Chinese national team this time in 2020. In China, instead of his real name Victor Ahn, he used the name ‘An Shenzhu’, which is a Chinese pronunciation of his name from his Korean days, and received unkind stares from Korean fans.

Through coach Kim Seon-tae-Victor Ahn, the Chinese national team, which absorbed the know-how of Korean short track speed skating and raised controversy over judging, succeeded in harvesting four medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) in the short track at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games held in their country. . However, at the time, anti-Chinese sentiment in Korea reached its peak due to China’s extreme home territorial attitude and controversy over biased judgment. Following his naturalization in Russia, antipathy towards Viktor, who once again appeared as the ‘enemy’ of the Korean national team, increased.

It was revealed that Viktor, who had been forgotten from public attention for a while after the Beijing Games, was seeking activities in Korea again by applying for a leadership position at Seongnam City Hall. But public opinion is not very favorable. There is no doubt about his career and skills, but he has already been embroiled in controversies and gossip several times, and his bad image is deeply rooted due to his self-centered behavior and explanations that question his sincerity.

Eventually, the Korean Ice Skating Leaders Federation issued an official statement and expressed its opposition to Viktor Ahn’s activities in Korea. The Skating Instructors Federation issued a statement on the 13th and expressed concerns about the open hiring process for short track coaches in Seongnam. In addition, the federation, together with Viktor, clearly expressed their opposition to coach Kim Seon-tae’s hiring of a leader.

What the federation pointed out was Viktor’s false explanation and selfish behavior. When Viktor gave up his Korean citizenship and naturalized as a Russian citizen, he explained that he thought ‘dual citizenship would be possible’ when there was a controversy about betraying his country. However, it was later revealed that he received four years of Olympic pension in a lump sum right before his naturalization. According to the regulations, the pension can only be received when maintaining nationality, but those who are expected to lose nationality can request lump-sum receipt before that. Viktor already knew that dual citizenship was impossible, and he was suspected of faking ignorance after receiving a lump sum pension.

In addition, there are not a few people who mistakenly believe that Viktor is still a victim of factional fighting in the domestic ice skating world, and that he had no choice but to turn his eyes to the overseas stage and choose Russian naturalization because he was ostracized in Korea and had no place to go. However, according to a 2014 interview with Viktor’s father, Ahn Ki-won, he explained, “Since the decision to go to Russia was confirmed before the dissolution of Seongnam City Hall, disbanding the team is not a decisive motive for naturalization.” In addition, Viktor himself has denied several times in interviews regarding the rumors of discord with the Korea Skating Federation or suspicions of disadvantages due to factions.

In fact, even when Viktor became a naturalized Russian citizen and splendidly resurrected at the Sochi Olympics, the focus was on criticizing the Korean ice world for failing to embrace Viktor, and Viktor received sympathy and support rather than criticism. However, public opinion gradually changed as the truth surrounding the Russian naturalization and the factional fight, such as the suspicion of pension, was revealed one by one, and Viktor’s activities were also re-examined. Also, at the Beijing Winter Olympics, his image deteriorated greatly as he remained silent in the controversy over China’s biased judgment and was happy to win the gold medal against Korea.

In summary, Victor Ahn is more like a person who abandoned his Korean nationality and left for a foreign country for his own personal reasons and interests. He even took the lead in blocking Korea’s path on the world stage by providing the skills and know-how he acquired in Korean short track to competing countries. And now, according to his own needs, he returned to Korea and is aiming for his employment. Of course, the choice is one’s own freedom, but it is a natural reaction that it is difficult for the public to send a friendly gaze to his actions.

In addition, the federation also pointed out that Kim Seon-tae was “a person who was severely punished by suspension of leadership qualifications from the Skating Federation after Shim Suk-hee’s assault and sexual violence were revealed immediately after the Olympics.” Then, he criticized the actions of Kim Seon-tae and Victor Ahn, saying, “Freedom to choose a job must be guaranteed, but it cannot exceed fairness, which is the top value of sports.”

The federation emphasized, “The most important thing for Korean ice skating to be trusted and loved by the people again is the leader’s honest work ethic and healthy mindset.” “Seongnam City is the mecca of Korean ice skating. It should serve as a stepping stone to restore the people’s trust and take a step forward. Avoiding a crisis with lies and taking personal interests instead of fairness is not a proper leader,” he said, revealing the justification for opposition.

If Viktor is chosen as a coach, he may coach Choi Min-jung and Kim Gil-li, who are the star of the women’s short track speed skating team and belong to Seongnam City Hall. While some regret his talent and skills, there is no reaction saying, ‘He did not cause any legal problems, and if he teaches the athletes well as a leader, isn’t it more beneficial for Korean short track in the future?’

However, today’s public tends to emphasize personality, trust, and morality beyond just achievements and skills. We need to think about whether a leader who cannot evoke sympathy from the people can really lead the players properly. If Seongnam City hires Viktor, it is clear that the aftermath will be severe. It is bound to be more sensitive because it is an issue that can remain as a similar precedent in the future. Attention is focusing on what kind of final conclusion Seongnam City will make regarding Viktor’s plan.

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