On Friday, Olympic athlete Yun Sung-Bin snagged a gold medal for his impressive performance in the men’s skeleton competition. Yun beat out 29 other men for the medal, registering a final time of 3 minutes and 20.55 seconds. However, Yun’s impressive time wasn’t all that caught the audience’s attention. During his run, Yun sported a red and gold protective helmet modeled after the helmet worn by Marvel superhero Iron Man. Decked out in a sleek red speed suit, Yun channeled Tony Stark’s famous armor as he slid down the skeleton slope to victory.
Olympic watchers took to social media to celebrate Yun’s win and remark on his snazzy headgear. Onlookers commented that Yun’s position on the sled made him look like Iron Man flying. Film director Jon Favreau logged onto Twitter to praise Yun’s helmet choice. Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man films for Marvel Studios, tweeted a picture of Yun on his sled, excitedly commenting “Iron Man on ice! #Olympics”.
Yun’s win proved to be historic. He is the first athlete outside of Europe and North America to medal in a sliding sport at the Olympics. His victory has made him a hero among both Marvel fans and residents of his home country of South Korea. In his quest for gold, Yun achieved a faster time than 29 other competitors, including teammate Kim Ji-soo and Latvian athlete Martins Dukurs, who won the silver medal in Sochi in 2014.
Yun is a native of Namhae County, South Korea and is the son of athletes. He became interested in skeleton in high school and later entered the Korea National Sport University to train more intensively. In an interview with Reuters, Yun revealed that he had to gain over 35 pounds in two weeks for the Olympics, eating a protein-heavy meal every two hours. Due to a mediocre performance in the 2014 Olympics, Yun was not a household name in South Korea, but with his latest victory he has achieved stardom in the country.