|Former South Korean national team short track speed skater Kim Hye-kyung, fourth from left, stands among Turkish officials after being named head coach of the Turkish national team. [YONHAP]|
The Turkish Ice Skating Federation said Kim has recently signed on to take over its national team, and will start training with the athletes on June 1.
Kim is signed through the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics next February, and may be re-signed depending on the team’s performance at the Winter Games in South Korea.
Kim is a former South Korean national team skater, and won gold medals in the women’s 500 meters and 1,500 meters at the 2007 Winter Universiade in Torino, Italy.
Turkey, which is considering a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, brought in the former skater from the world’s premier short track power to improve its performance.
There have been several South Korean-born short track coaches for foreign nations, and Kim is the first female to become one.
“There isn’t much time left [until PyeongChang], but I’ll try to take the Turkish national team to a higher level,” Kim told Yonhap News Agency on the phone. “I hope to blaze the trail for younger female skaters from South Korea to become head coaches for other nations, too.”