South Korean short-track champion Shim Suk-hee has revealed that she was subjected to systematic physical abuse for more than 10 years in a court testimony given against her coach Cho Jae-beon.
The 21-year-old skater detailed horrific scenes from her training process, adding that the coach’s brutality resulted in numerous injuries, including broken bones and concussion.
“When I was in fourth grade, I suffered broken fingers after getting stuck by an ice hockey stick,” she said while attending an appeal trial at the Suwon District Court in South Korea.
Shim, who won three medals at the Sochi Olympics, said that her coach’s horrible attacks started when she was just eight, and lasted until the Pyeongchang Winter Games when the skater sustained a concussion after being hit in the head.
“Before the Pyeongchang Olympics, he kicked and punched me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” Shim said. “I had a concussion afterwards, and I fainted and fell down during the Olympics because of that,” she added.
Cho was sentenced to 10 months in prison in September for assaulting four short-track speed skaters, including Shim, but appealed the indictment denying all the allegations brought against him.