Fans know all too well that ENHYPEN‘s visual and dancer Sunghoon used to be a competitive figure skater. He participated in many local and international competitions until he reached the senior level, stepping on the podium several times.
He hung up his skates in 2020 after choosing to pursue his dreams full time through I-LAND.
In an interview with Weverse Magazine, Sunghoon looked back on his former life as a skater, his old friends in the sport, and what he thinks about the 2022 Beijing Olympics as someone who used to play competitively. The first thing he talked about was his great respect for the athletes who consistently give their blood, sweat, and tears to make it on the ice. He also mentioned his desire to join the Olympics—that is, had he pursued skating instead of singing.
It was my dream to be in the Olympics when I was little, so I have a lot of respect for the athletes who made it. I think I would’ve wanted to be there too if I were still figure skating.
He brought up two renowned Korean male skaters whom he trained with as a child. Cha Jun Hwan and Lee Si Hyeong were also top level athletes in the past and now they’re South Korea’s representatives in the Beijing Olympics.
I skated with Cha Jun Hwan and Lee Si Hyeong on the same rink before and we all trained to be national representatives. I wish them a lot of luck. They’re both incredibly talented.
Cha Jun Hwan in particular recently gained widespread recognition for his talent and visuals after ranking 5th overall. Sunghoon praised him, saying he always thought highly of Jun Hwan from then until now. No matter how many years have passed, the ENHYPEN singer believed he was always “the very best” in the country.
He’s the very best out of all the top Korean male figure skaters as far as I know. So I’m really looking forward to his performances.
According to Sunghoon, Jun Hwan stands out among other skaters for his incredible balance of technical and artistic skills.
I thought Cha Jun Hwan was especially good at jumping and incredibly expressive.
Sunghoon also touched on the hidden difficulties that athletes have to face on a daily basis especially leading up to a big competition. He wanted the audience to recognize that it is often a “lonely struggle” to have to appear strong on the outside despite suffering physically or mentally behind the scenes.
I know that the athletes have been practicing vigorously right up until it starts, and I know how much energy it takes to skate for four or five minutes straight and every single time they have to jump. They look sunny and graceful on the outside but it’s a lonely struggle inside so I hope they have a lot of people rooting for them.
Read more about Sunghoon’s thoughts during the interview below.