Namkyu Lim channels passion into South Korean youth development

Namkyu Lim PyeongChang 2018, photo: Eugen Esslage

Seoul, South Korea (FIL/25 Oct. 2022) South Korea’s two-time Olympic men’s singles athlete Namkyu Lim, 33, got hooked on luge while watching Sochi 2014 on television.

Now, as he plans his next Olympic campaign to Milano-Cortina 2026, Lim is channelling his luge passion into developing South Korea’s youth team for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, Gangwon 2024.

He is also working on several exciting projects to raise awareness of his ‘first love’ luge:

Namkyu Lim, photo: JTBC

“I’m the captain of a football team on competition reality TV show The Gentleman’s League 2 on Netflix.“ Top athletes from different sports are coached by former pro players and we’re heading to the National Championships.

“It’s been a super interesting experience - soccer skills are a must, and so is speed and stamina. This is something that us lugers know a lot about, so it’s a brilliant platform to show what lugers can do!

Namkyu Lim, photo: JTBC

“I’m also on a TV show in South Korea showing people how our sport works, letting young kids try luge and generally presenting the sport to the public.”

Lim’s passion for luge is certainly keeping him busy and he can’t wait to get started with the South Korea youth team:

“I’m really looking forward to sharing my early experiences of luge, as well as my Olympic know-how. This will include showing the youth team how to face up to that initial fear many of us face with massive luge tracks.”

Lim was a fast learner - he began sliding at 25 years old with coaches Steffen Sartor and Robert Fegg and just four years later was selected for Pyeongchang 2018. But he’s the first person to acknowledge that being scared can be a reality:

Namkyu Lim

“My heart was set on luge from the very beginning. I was drawn immediately to the incredible speed in luge and the top athletes competing for medals by milliseconds.

“So directly after Sochi, I began sliding - but, in the early days, it was no easy ride!”

Lim’s first sliding experience was on Latvia’s Sigulda track from curve 9:

“It felt terrible and thrilling all at the same time!

“Our youth team will find it useful to hear about my first-hand experiences of the seesaw of emotions all lugers experience at the top of the sport.

Namkyu Lim coach Korea Luge

“Even now, I still find the most attractive part of luge is overcoming, step by step, the mental challenges as well as the hard curves on different tracks around the world.”

After Lim finished 30th in singles and 9th in Team Relay at Pyeongchang 2018, he was asked by his Federation to come back for Beijing 2022, however his journey was tough this time around.

“I was so excited, but unfortunately the stars were not aligned for me at the beginning of my second Olympic journey.

“I got a serious injury during a World Cup training run heading into Beijing 2022. I headed home and mentally gave up on the idea of competing at the Games.

“But after a few days, I thought long and hard about the people of South Korea who were supporting me. I knew I wanted to represent my country again.

“I could also see what my Polish luge friend Mateusz Sochowicz was going through with his injury. Along with the entire global luge community, I was in complete awe and admiration for this amazing athlete who would eventually bounce back and compete in Beijing.

“So I would not let this second Olympic opportunity go! Before I knew it, I was on a plane back to the World Cup and Olympic qualification.”

Football pictures: JTBC