Winter OlympicsDownload App

South Korea's Lee Sang-Hwa Sets Olympic Record in Women's 500-Meter Speedskating

Gold medallist South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa competes during the second heat of the women's 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 13, 2014

South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa set an Olympic record in the women's 500-meter speedskating event Tuesday, finishing with a combined time of 1 minute, 14.70 seconds to defend her gold medal.

Lee also took gold in the 500 meters at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, and she entered Tuesday's event as the overwhelming favorite after winning every event she entered on the World Cup circuit this season.

Lee's record time bested the mark of Canada's Catriona Le May Doan, who skated the 500 meters in a then-Olympic record 1 minute, 14.75 seconds at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Le May Doan had the advantage of skating at altitude in 2002, while Lee's record-breaking time was set at sea level.

Adding to the impressive nature of her accomplishment, Lee also bested Le May Doan's Olympic record for the best single-heat time in the 500 meters. Lee finished the second of her two heats Tuesday in 37.28 seconds, just .02 seconds better than Le May Doan's time of 37.30 seconds from 2002.

The only thing Lee failed to do was set a world-record time for a single heat in the 500 meters. Given that she already owns the record of 36.36 seconds, the South Korean Olympic legend shouldn't be too disappointed.  

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices