South Korean Teen Wins Men’s Singles Figure Skating Gold at Winter Youth Olympics

SEOUL—In a historic victory on Monday, South Korean figure skater Kim Hyun-gyeom clinched the men's singles gold medal at the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics, marking a significant milestone as the first South Korean man to secure a figure skating title at this event. Competing on home ice, the 17-year-old demonstrated exceptional skill and artistry, accumulating a total score of 216.73 points. His performance included a score of 69.28 points from the short program on Saturday and an impressive 147.45 points in Monday's free skate at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, located about 160 kilometers east of Seoul.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim's journey to the top of the podium was marked by a remarkable comeback. Initially ranked third after the short program, he managed to surpass 18 other skaters with the highest free skate score, propelling him to first place overall. His free skate routine was highlighted by a series of technically demanding elements, starting with a clean quadruple toe loop, followed by a flawless triple axel, and a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination. Maintaining his composure and precision, Kim also executed a triple flip and a flying camel spin, concluding his program with a flying change foot combination spin that elicited a rousing applause from the audience.

This year's Winter Youth Olympics, the fourth edition of the games and the first to be held outside Europe, saw Kim follow in the footsteps of South Korea's You Young, who won the women's single gold medal at the 2020 Winter Youth Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. Kim's victory not only adds to his personal accolades but also contributes to South Korea's overall success at the games, bringing the country's gold medal tally to five with two days remaining in the competition.

The silver and bronze medals in the men's singles event were awarded to Adam Hagara of Slovakia and Yanhao Li of New Zealand, respectively, with overall scores of 216.23 and 208.84 points. American skater Jacob Sanchez, despite leading after the short program, finished in fourth place after a less dominant free skate performance.

Kim Hyun-gyeom's triumph at the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics represents a significant achievement for South Korea in the realm of figure skating, highlighting the nation's growing prowess in winter sports on the international stage.

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