UPDATE : 2018.6.23 SAT 01:43
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Skeleton sensation Yun focused on gold medal by imaging Olympic podium

South Korea's Yun Sung-bin, who won the gold medal in the men's skeleton event at the PyeongChang Winter Games, said Friday he focused on winning by imagining himself on the Olympic podium.

Yun won gold with a combined time of 3 minutes, 20.55 seconds after four heats at the Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang earlier in the day, becoming the first Asian to win a medal in the history of the Olympic skeleton competition.

"Each night, I imagined myself being on the podium. I wanted to also dream during sleep, but that didn't happen so often," Yun said during the medal ceremony at the PyeongChang Medal Plaza in PyeongChang.

South Korean skeleton gold medalist Yun Sung-bin (C), flanked by silver medalist Nikita Tregubov of Olympic Athletes of Russia (L) and bronze medalist Dom Parsons of Britain (R), raises his arms in victory during a medal ceremony at PyeongChang Medal Plaza in PyeongChang on Feb. 16, 2018. (Yonhap)

The new national winter sports hero added, "Today I came to realized that if you keep imagining and hope for it, (your wishes) do come true. I still can't believe that I've become a hero in a situation that only happens on television."

The skeleton athlete also said he felt great for promoting his home country with his victory. "Those who came here aren't only from my country. It felt great to promote my country to people from other countries," Yun said.

After receiving the medal from Ryu Seung-min, a South Korean IOC member and table tennis gold medalist, Yun said the excitement of the gold medal victory finally sunk in.

"The medal is heavy. I'm aware that it's the weightiest Olympic medal to date," Yun said. "Good things ought to be heavy."

Yun is the first South Korean athlete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics outside of skating events. Since South Korea first appeared at the Winter Olympics in 1948, all 55 of its medals, including the other medals won at PyeongChang, have come from skating sports, with 43 of them earned by short trackers. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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