The figure skating world was rocked this week when an American skater was accused of purposely slashing a South Korean skater. Mariah Bell, 22, and Lim Eun Soo, 16, were practicing for the World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, on Wednesday, when the incident happened. Lim’s management claimed that during practice, before the women’s short program, Bell cut Lim’s leg with her skates. Lim suffered a gash on her calf which required a bandage, according to the Washington Post.
“Mariah Bell, who scheduled to rehearse after Lim, suddenly kicked and stabbed Lim’s calf with her skate blades,” Lim’s agent told Agence France-Presse. “Mariah Bell didn’t apologize to Lim Eun Soo after the incident and instead continued to rehearse for her routine.”
Lim’s management also accused Bell of bullying Lim for months before the tournament. The two figure skaters train under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan, in Los Angeles.
After the incident, Lim Eun Soo scored a personal best with a 72.91 on Wednesday, placing fifth, while Mariah Bell placed sixth. However, on Friday, Lim finished in 10th place while Bell finished 9th at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
The Korean team leader reported the incident to ISU officials who investigated the matter. However, they disagreed with the Korean team leader that Bell intently hurt Lim and advised both parties to come to a peaceful resolution.
“Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim,” The ISU said in an official statement. “The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution. The ISU maintains that this remains the appropriate approach.”
Now the video has surfaced, which shows Lim Eun Soo slowly skating at the edge of the rink when Mariah Bell skates by her. Bell does a move where she kicks up her leg which hits Lim in the leg. Lim can be seen grabbing her leg in pain as Bell skates away.
Many on the internet took sides and argued whether Bell purposely slashed Lim.
This attack has reminded people of the incident between figure skaters, Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. The famous incident between the two rivals happened in 1994 after Nancy Kerrigan finished up practice in the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
Two men, Shane Stant and Derrick Smith, attacked Kerrigan’s right leg with a metal baton. This attack led to the greatest cry in history and the most famous, “Why, why, why?”
It was soon found out that the hit was contracted by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt. Tonya was suspected of knowing about the incident. The reason they tried to take out Nancy Kerrigan was that she was in the way of Tonya making the Olympics.
Tonya Harding would later plead guilty to “conspiracy to hinder prosecution,” where she received a fine of $160,000 and three years probation. Furthermore, she was stripped of her 1994 national championships and was banned from the USFSA forever.
Figure skating is a cutthroat business. Always protect your neck.