Shim Suk-hee suspension ends as Beijing Games close
Short track speed skater Shim Suk-hee's two-month suspension from the Korean short track team ended Monday, a day after the 2022 Beijing Olympics closed.
On Dec. 21, two months before the Beijing Games, Shim was suspended from the national team for two months for insulting her teammates during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and effectively excluded from the Korean national team entry.
Now that Shim's suspension is lifted, she is technically able to rejoin the national team and compete at the ISU World Championships starting March 18 in Montreal, Canada. However, the nature of the suspension — for insulting other athletes — raises questions over whether Shim will actually be able to slot back into the team and resume training.
Text messages that showed Shim insulting her teammates during the PyeongChang Games were released as part of the written opinion of lawyers for former national team coach Cho Jae-beom, who is currently in prison for sexually and physically assaulting Shim. The text messages also sparked an investigation into whether Shim was involved in race fixing, although she has subsequently been cleared.
The alleged race fixing accusations date back to the collision between Shim and Choi Min-jeong during the women's 1,000-meter final at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, when the two fell while turning the final corner. After a video review, Shim was disqualified and Choi missed out on a medal, taking fourth place.
Shim had applied for an injunction against the disciplinary action on Jan. 6, but was rejected by a Seoul Court on Jan 19, excluding her from competing at the Beijing Games.
On Friday, Choi returned from Beijing as the Korean athlete with the most medals from the 2022 Winter Olympics. Choi won the women's 1,500-meter gold medal, the 3,000-meter relay silver and women's 1,000-meter silver at the Games.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]