Teen luger hoping to use Youth Olympics as ‘stepping stone’ for 2026 Winter Games

This photo released on Jan. 16, shows Korean luger Kim Bo-keun. Courtesy of the organizing committee of the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics.

Kim Bo-keun grew up playing baseball in the baseball-crazed city of Busan. While he was taking a break from the sport, Kim found himself at a national luge start competition in July 2020, after some nudging from his older brother, who had already taken up the sliding sport.Kim finished third in that event. Impressed with Kim’s raw athleticism, a luge coach on the scene approached him. Once the coach found out Kim was 14 years old, he told the teenager that he would be eligible for the Winter Youth Olympics taking place in Korea in early 2024. The luge competition was held six months after Gangwon Province, in eastern Korea, was awarded the quadrennial youth event, open to athletes between 15 and 18.

Even at such a young age then, Kim recognized a good opportunity when he saw one.”I felt it was my chance to compete at an Olympics, which is something that people normally don’t get to do,” Kim, now 17, said in an online press conference Tuesday from PyeongChang, some 130 kilometers east of Seoul. It was held three days before the start of the Winter Youth Olympics. “So I jumped into luge because I wanted to seize that 슬롯사이트 opportunity.”

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