With the next Winter Olympic Games on tap in his home country, Sungbin Yun is looking to make South Koreans proud.
The 22-year-old hit his seventh consecutive IBSF World Cup podium by winning the men's skeleton event at Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday morning.
Yun, who was third at the 2015-16 World Cup stop in Whistler, bested Russia's Alexander Tretiakov by 0.12 seconds and American Matthew Antoine by 0.36 seconds.
While he struggled in parts his second time down, the 0.15-second cushion he built after the first run proved to be more than enough.
"I'm so happy. Training is very real, but race day is very tight," said Yun, who also was first in training.
"The second run was not so good, but the second run was good being in top position," he added, noting corner 15 caused him some problems.
Yun said the difference between his last competition in Whistler and this weekend was significant.
"Last year, I was so bad, but I learned this track and I have experience now," he said.
Antoine was eighth after the first run, but blazed through his second run with the best second attempt of all to make the leap to third.
He had a few near misses, including a fourth in Whistler last January, so he hopes the bronze is a gateway to a strong 2016-17.
"I had a bit of a tough year last year, didn't medal at all, so to come back in the first race right off the start and walk away with a medal, it's a good confidence-builder going into the rest of the season," he said.
Antoine knew after his first run that there were places he could cut time, and was pleased with how he leapt up into the medals.
"With the technicality and difficulty of this track, you will have a lot of athletes who make mistakes so whoever can be the most consistent will stand to do the best," he said. "The first run, I was a little disappointed. I made some big mistakes in Curves 6 and 7 and I knew that if I cleaned those up, I would have a chance to move up."
Barrett Martineau was the top Canadian, placing 10th, while Dave Greszczyszyn was just a spot back in 11th. Kevin Boyer, making his World Cup debut, took 17th.
Action at Whistler Sliding Centre continues with women's bobsleigh at 2 p.m. and four-man bobsleigh at 6 p.m.