Viktor Ahn won a bronze medal in men’s short-track speed skating 1,500 metres this morning. In 2006 Ahn won 3 golds and 4 medals at Torino, while skating for Korea – his name variously transliterated but Ahn Hyun-Soo is a commonly seen Latin spelling. So does that make Ahn the first person to win a medal for 2 different nations at the Winter Olympics? Not quite, but in a sense, he’s only the second one.
Actually 55 different athletes have won medals at the Winter Olympics while representing 2 different NOCs. Note that we said NOCs. In all, 54 of these occurred for politically related nations (PRNs), emerging from the break-up of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and the merger of the two Germanies.
Of these 12 were women, and 42 were men. Three athletes, 1 woman and 2 men, actually won medals for 3 NOCs – all representing the Soviet Union, the Unified Team in 1992, and Russia. These were Anfisa Reztsova in biathlon (1988-94), Sergey Chepikov in biathlon (1988-2006), and Igor Kravchuk in ice hockey (1988-2002).
Here’s the national breakdown:
Now note that it happened one time for distinctly different nations (DDNs). That was done by Bart Veldkamp, who speed skated for the Netherlands in 1992-94, winning a gold medal in the 10K in 1992 and a bronze medal in that event in 1994. By 1998 Veldkamp had switched to representing Belgium and won a bronze medal in the 5K at Nagano.
So essentially, Viktor Ahn is the second athlete to win medals for distinctly different nations at the Winter Olympics.