In ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup concluded in Shanghai on Sunday, Shaolin Liu from Team Hungary was a shining star, who won two men’s 500m gold medals and led his team to win a silver in 5000m relay.
The 24-year-old short track athlete pledged to win another gold medal in Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in an interview with Xinhua.
Liu is of mixed heritage, whose father is Chinese and mother is Hungarian.
“My dad hopes I could win gold medals every time, especially in China, because I am half Chinese,” he said.
Liu proved himself in Pyeongchang by winning the men’s 5000m relay gold medal together with his brother Shaoang Liu and two other teammates, which is also the first gold medal for Hungary at Winter Olympics.
Liu told Xinhua that the victory made him famous in Hungary and a large number of brands has flocked to him for cooperation since then.
“But I still want to focus on training because I aim high in Beijing,” Liu said.
Liu’s life returned to peace this summer. He devoted himself to training and yielded fruitful results. In Salt Lake City, the first leg of this season’s World Cup, though he fell behind Wu Dajing to win a silver medal of 500m, he got into 40 seconds for the first time in his career.
Later in Montreal, he won men’s 500m gold medal and became a strong opponent of Wu.
“I feel very lucky,” he said, revealing that he has learned a lot from the Chinese team. “I admire that Wu Dajing can always keep his time at around 39.5 seconds.”
To prepare for the Winter Olympics, Liu must keep a monotonous and highly disciplined pace of life.
“I get home at 8 and go to bed at 10 every night. I must work harder than anyone else. I have to train physically, mentally and emotionally in order to succeed,” he said.
This season, his younger brother Shaoang made significant progress by winning his first 500m gold medal in Nagoya. Unlike Shaolin, Shaoang is timid, always standing behind his brother. He even said that if Shaolin takes a lead in the competition, he will not have the idea of surpassing his brother.
But now the two brothers’ ideas began to change, Liu said. He asked his brother to be more independent and strive to move forward, because any accident could happen in the short track.
“No matter Olympics, world championships or other competitions, do not suppose that we can play together. If you are the only one of us, you should do better,” he told his brother.
Liu once trained in China and grew up with Wu and Han Tianyu of the Chinese team, who have now become both friends and rivals.
“I like Wu Dajing and Han Tianyu very much. They are interesting people,” Liu said.
Liu only participated in the 500m and 5000m relay in Shanghai, admitting that he could not adapt to the fierce competition in the 1000m and 1500m races.
“My ultimate goal is Beijing Winter Olympics. My family will come to watch my games. I will do my best to win another gold medal, ” said Liu.
Source: Xinhua – SHANGHAI
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