Viktor Knoch, Csaba Burjan and brothers Shaoang and Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) felt the weight of a nation on their shoulders, when they entered the rink for the men’s 5000m relay final at Gangneung Ice Arena on the final day of Short Track. Hungary, has won 175 gold medals at the Summer Games, but previously only seized two silver and four bronze medals at the Winter Games, all in Figure Skating and most recently in 1980.
The race was spectacular. China fought for the lead with Korea, while the crowd loudly cheered every time the home favorites made a good move. About halfway through the race the crowd went silent. Hyojun Lim (KOR) fell just before a change-over, which left the Korean team too far behind to be able to fight for a medal. Up front, the race continued, and with two laps to go Hungary took control. “When I got the last two laps from my brother Shaoang I said, 'No one is going to pass me here. I'm going mad man',” said Shaolin Sandor Lui.
Hungary won and the four skaters go down in history as the first Olympic Winter Games Champions their nation ever had.
From left to right: Csaba Burjan, Viktor Knoch, Shaoang Liu, Shaolin Sandor Liu. Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images