Shim Suk-hee rejoins Korean team for World Championships
Shim Suk-hee has rejoined the national team and will be competing at the World Championships in Montreal, Canada starting on Friday.
Team Korea jetted off to Canada on Sunday for the 2021-22 International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Championships that will be held from Friday in Montreal. The event was originally scheduled to be held from March 18 to 20, but was postponed due to Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shim will be competing alongside Choi Min-jeong, Kim A-lang, Seo Whi-min and Park Ji-yoon.
This is the first time Shim will be on the ice representing Korea since she was banned from the national team on Dec. 21 last year. Shim has served a two-month suspension from the Korean short track team that ended a day after the 2022 Beijing Olympics finished.
Shim was suspended from the national team for insulting her teammates during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, and was effectively excluded from the Korean national team entry for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Even after the ban was lifted, Shim had to miss out on the National Winter Sports Festival that ran this February because athletes were not allowed to apply to compete while suspended.
Shim only rejoined the national team in March for the first time since October last year, when she was removed from the Jincheon National Training Center.
Shim's ban was the result of text messages revealed last year that showed Shim insulting her teammates during the PyeongChang Games. The messages 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 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, Choi and Kim will be competing in both the individual races and the team relay at the ISU World Championships, while Seo and Park join only for the team relay. Park replaced Olympian Lee Yu-bin after Lee decided to rest out the event due to health reasons.
However, the nature of Shim's suspension — for insulting other athletes — raises questions over how effectively she'll be able to compete with her teammates in the relay event.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]