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Shim Suk-hee is kept out of the Beijing Olympics

Posted January. 19, 2022 07:48,   

Updated January. 19, 2022 07:48


Olympic short track speed skating champion Shim Suk-hee is banned from the Beijing Winter Olympics.

On Tuesday, the Seoul Eastern District Court dismissed Shim’s request for provisional disposition for suspension of the effect of the disciplinary measure issued by the Fair Play Committee of the Korea Skating Union. The Union had suspended Shim’s status for two months on the grounds that she had denigrated her team members via text messages.

Shim won a ticket to the Olympics by winning all-round championship in the 2021-2022 pre-match for the national team held in May last year. Tickets for the Olympic Games were given to top five players of the competition. Controversy over her status as a national team member was first sparked off when it was revealed that Shim exchanged inappropriate text messages with the then-national team coach Cho Hang-min, disparaging her colleagues and other coaches, at the time of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Slapped with the Fair Play Committee’s two-month penalty, Shim filed a request for injunction at the court, instead of appealing the Committee’s decision. With the court’s dismissal of Shim’s request, the two-time Olympic medalist cannot go to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, which will begin on Feb. 4, as the two-month disciplinary period will have already ended before she even appeals the court’s decision of dismissal.

Shim, having won three medals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, including one gold medal in women’s 3,000-meter short-track speed skating relay, as the youngest player in the then-national team, was a rising star of the South Korean short-track speed skating team. At the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Shim led the national team to a gold medal in women’s 3000-meter speed skating relay as a captain. However, immediately before the Pyeongchang Games, it had been revealed that Shim was sexually abused by former coach Cho Jae-beom, and the ensuing court trials further revealed that Shim had been repeatedly abused. Having missed a ticket to compete in Beijing, Shim’s dream of winning a medal in three consecutive Olympics has foundered. After the news broke out, Shim’s agency released a statement that read, “I humbly accept the court’s decision. I want to apologize those who have been hurt.”

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com