Winter Olympic gold medalists named goodwill ambassadors for Incheon Asiad

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Olympic speed skating champion Lee Sang-hwa and short track gold medalist Park Seung-hi on Monday were named the goodwill ambassadors for the upcoming Incheon Asian Games.

The organizing committee for the Asiad introduced the two Olympians as the newest goodwill ambassadors for the Sept. 19-Oct. 4 multisport competition.

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Lee won her second straight gold medal in the women's 500 meters. Park won three medals in short track -- gold medals in the 1,000m and the 3,000m relay, and the bronze medal in the 500m.

Kim Young-soo, head of the Asian Games organizing committee, said the "unique" step of appointing winter sports athletes to promote the summer sports competition carries a symbolic meaning.

"We hope our winter sports stars can deliver a message of harmony for 4.5 billion people on the continent of Asia," Kim said. "We hope to deliver a sports festival for all of Asia."

Lee and Park both wished for a successful Asiad at home and said the athletes should try to enjoy themselves before partisan crowds.

"Since the competition will be at home, I hope the athletes will see it as a festival," Lee said. "If they can concentrate on their preparation, they should be able to post good results."

Park said she plays badminton away from the ice and will cheer on South Korea's shuttlers in Incheon.

"I am sure all athletes are working hard for the Asiad," she said. "As long as they can perform to their capabilities, they will walk away without regrets."

The two athletes join other athletes on the list of honorary ambassadors for the Asiad, including Olympic swimming champ Park Tae-hwan, former Olympic marathon silver medalist Lee Bong-joo, Major League Baseball outfielder Choo Shin-soo and PGA Tour veteran Choi Kyoung-ju.

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