Budapest, Hungary – Speed-skating Liu Shaoang won Hungary’s first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics in the Men’s 500m, Hungary’s first-ever individual gold at a Winter Games.
Hungary’s only other gold medal at a Winter Olympics came in Pyeongchang in 2018, when they won the men’s 5,000m relay in short track speed skating.
Liu Shaoang beat Konstantin Ivliev of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Canada’s Steven Dubois after the other main favourites failed to make it to the final.
It is his and Hungary’s third medal in Beijing, having already claimed bronze in the mixed team relay and the 1,000m.
It was actually his brother Liu Shaolin Sándor who finished first in the 1,000m, believing he had won Hungary’s first-ever individual gold at a Winter Games. But the speed-skater was disqualified post-race for an infringement.
This meant that his younger brother Liu Shaoang, who had finished fourth, was upgraded to third, winning Hungary’s second bronze of the Winter Olympics after the bronze won in the mixed team relay, in which both brothers competed.
Liu Shaolin Sándor and Liu Shaoang have a Hungarian mother and a Chinese father but opted to compete for the Central European country.
“My mum stitched two flags together – the Hungarian flag and the Chinese flag,” said Liu Shaolin Sándor in an interview prior to the Olympics. “I want to win not only for the Hungarian people and not only for myself, I want to win for the Chinese people as well. I am 50/50. If I get any medal, 50% is for China and 50% is for Hungary.”
Shaolin and Shaoang were already well known in Hungary, but after their 2018 title, they also became public figures in China, where they trained for long periods of time when they were young.
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have now all won gold medals in Beijing.