Junior medals are no guarantee for future success in Speed Skating, but some of the previous Youth Olympic Champions went on to win major titles in the senior category as well. Min-Seok Kim (KOR) is the only Speed Skater to this date to have won both Youth Olympic and senior Olympic silverware since the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
Kim Min-Seok (KOR) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (POL) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Kim crowned himself king of the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, winning both the 1500m and the Mass Start. Only two years later the Korean youngster celebrated senior Olympic success on home soil, winning bronze in the 1500m and silver in the Team Pursuit at the Pyeongchang Games in 2018. Kim was the first Korean Speed Skater to win a medal in the 1500m at the senior Olympics.
Junior stamina translates into senior sprint
Senneke de Neeling (NED) at the ISU World Spring Speed Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Sanneke de Neeling (NED) also started her international Speed Skating career with two Youth Olympic titles. The Rotterdam born prodigy won 3000m and Mass Start gold at the 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, and carried the Dutch flag during the closing ceremony.
Despite having won the endurance events at the Youth Olympics, De Neeling went on to focus on the short distances as a senior. It took her a while to find her way to the podium in the senior ranks, but last month she finally seized her first individual ISU World Cup Speed Skating medal, winning bronze in the 1000m in Nagano. De Neeling had already won several gold, silver and bronze ISU World Cup Speed Skating medals with the orange squad in the Team Sprint and she also celebrated a silver team sprint medal at the ISU European Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in 2018.
Junior silver outstrips gold
Seitaro Ichinohe (JPN) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (NED) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Yang Fan (CHN) won the men's 1500m, 3000m and mass start at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games but has not found back his winning ways in the senior ranks ever since. His Youth Olympic rival Seitaro Ichinohe (JPN), who won bronze in the 1500m and silver in both the 3000m and the mass start in Innsbruck, did manage to build upon his junior success in later years. Ichinohe participated in the 2018 Olympic Games coming 9th in the 5000m and 5th in the Team Pursuit. He also won ISU World Cup Speed Skating medals in all colors with the Japanese squad in the Team Pursuit and an individual silver in the 1500m at the 2018 ISU World Cup Speed Skating event in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.
Olympians Park and Han
Ji-Woo Park (KOR) at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Korea's Ji Woo Park and China's Han Mei were the most successful ladies in Speed Skating at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, with Park winning the 1500m and the mass start and Han taking silver in the 500m, 1500m and mass start. Both Park and Han did participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games, but they have not won any individual silverware in the senior ranks so far. Park did win an ISU World Cup Speed Skating bronze as part of the Korean Team Pursuit squad in 2016 in Harbin, China.