The 2019 Short Track Junior Development Skaters of the Year

April 26, 2019, 11:33 a.m. (ET)

US Speedskating presents the two skaters recognized as the 2019 Short Track Junior Development Skaters of the Year. Skaters were selected by US Speedskating's High Performance Department based on age, improvement and results from the season.

Congratulations to Seung-Min Kwon and Kamryn Lute!


Name: Seung-Min Kwon

Age: 15

Club: Potomac Speedskating Club

Coach: Simon Cho

Who inspires you in speed skating? Victor Ahn

Where will you be in ten years? I hope to be in medical school at that point in time.

What other sports do you play? I don’t play another sport other than skating.

What are your other hobbies? Traveling to other parts of the world and experiencing the cultural differences visually and physically.

How did you get involved in speed skating? A close friend of my parents first introduced me to it.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment? Becoming national champion twice and earning the title of Junior Development Skater of the Year.

What is your favorite subject in school? Science because I find it more interesting to learn than math, art, and language. 

What are your goals for speedskating for the next few years? Being part of the junior national team.

What is your favorite exercise during dryland training? Belt crossovers

What’s your favorite post-race snack? Clif bar and bananas

Where is your favorite place to race? I honestly haven’t been to too many rinks but I heard that the Olympic Oval at Utah is great.

What’s your craziest hidden talent? Nothing really crazy to note, but I can play a little bit of piano and saxophone.

Anything else you’d like to share? I would like to thank my parents for supporting and helping me get through the hardships of this sport and US Speedskating for providing me with this opportunity. I would also like to thank my brother Seung-Hyun and my peers for always being a great source of support and great friends in general.


Name: Kamryn Lute

Age: 14

Club: The St. James (formerly Dominion)

Coach: HoSung Chang

Who inspires you in speedskating?

My biggest inspirations in skating are Wu Dajing and Shim Suk-Hee. Not only is watching them during World Championships and the Olympics amazing but when I do, I remember why I chose this sport in the first place. Sometimes, I’ll be going through a rough time in training, and then I’ll see them on TV and it gives me so much excitement and determination to go as far as I can in short track, and it helps me make it through the harder moments. Also one of my biggest inspirations is Maame Biney. I’ve known her since I was 6 years old and was lucky enough to watch her evolve into where she is today, having been to the Olympics and medaling at the world level. She inspires me so much and gives me hope for my future in this sport.

Where will you be in ten years?

Honestly, I’ll probably still be skating. My biggest goal is to make it to the 2022 Olympics, and I’ll only be 17 then. In 10 years, I’ll be 24, and ideally, I hope to have made it to the 2026 Olympics also. So I think I would be training for the 2030 Olympic team trials.

What other sports do you play?

None! Since training takes up so much of the week, I don’t really have time for much else. I’ve tried to incorporate other activities like Tae-Kwon Do, yoga and piano lessons into my schedule, but I always ended up quitting to focus on skating. Also, when we have our off day, I like to take it to fully rest and prepare myself for training.

What are your other hobbies?

In the free time I have, I really spend most of it either watching Netflix or hanging out with my friends from school since I don’t have much time to see them outside of classes. But I also really enjoy drawing, although I don’t do it as much as I would like to anymore.

How did you get involved in speedskating?

When I was 5 years old, I was watching the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and my parents asked me if I wanted to try out one of the sports. I saw short track speedskating on the TV and wanted to do it immediately. We found a club in the area, and I’ve been with them ever since.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I think my greatest accomplishment would have to be making the Junior Development Team this year and being invited to train under the national team program with some of the best skaters in the world. It’s an incredible opportunity that I’m so grateful to have the chance of participating in, and I’m so excited about all the new opportunities coming this season.

What is your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school this year is Chinese. I’m not very good at it, but I love my teacher and classmates and have always loved learning new languages. It’s definitely difficult, but I think if I train hard and end up having the chance to go to Beijing for the Olympics, it’d be really cool to be able to understand and speak with people from around the world.

What are your goals for speedskating in the next few years?

I hope to make the Youth Olympic team and the Junior World team this upcoming season, which would be so amazing and surreal. When I’m old enough in a few years, I also want to try out for the World Cup team, and in 3 years, my biggest goal would be to make the Olympic team in 2022.

What is your favorite exercise during dryland training?

I’ve always liked doing corner belt because I love the feeling of forming my technique on dry land, and then being able to try to transfer it over to the ice. It’s also the closest I can get to skating without being on the ice, and I’ve found no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been skating, it’s an extremely helpful and efficient way to learn.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

Really anything, but if I’m racing again after I’ll usually eat little to nothing so as not to make myself any heavier than I need to be. I usually just drink water then, or eat whatever Korean food my team has! But if I’m done for the day I try to eat a lot of protein, whether it’s a shake, bar or some type of protein-rich food, so that I can help my muscles recover and regain my energy.

Where is your favorite place to race?

My favorite place so far has been in Calgary, Canada. It’s where I felt the smoothest and fastest on the ice, and where I’ve set all my PBs so far. The facility is also similar to the Oval in Utah where there’s a track and a large space to warm up, which I find really helpful during racing, but I definitely prefer Utah in terms of the facility itself.

What’s your craziest hidden talent?

It’s not really crazy, but I’ve always seemed to have been able to pick up on languages easily. I speak English, but through school, I’ve become fluent in French and can write in and speak some Chinese. Outside of school, I’ve learned to read and write in Hebrew and pick up on the tiniest bit of Spanish. I’ve also managed to teach myself to understand quite a bit of Korean, which came directly from skating since all I’ve had are Korean coaches who tend to repeat the same few things over and over!

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just that if anyone’s ever going through a rough time in skating, to think of what made you start in the first place. It’s always ok to take a day off to be with yourself and reset your mind before getting back into training. I used to think if I skipped training at all that it would mess up my whole schedule and take me back, but often I find that it helps me a lot and I come back stronger than before. What also helps me a lot is watching videos of skaters at the world level, for example during the world championships or Olympic games. Watching the best in the world compete inspires me so much, and reminds me exactly why I started skating in the first place.