Matthew Stockman – International Skating Union (ISU)Getty Images
U.S. figure skater Mariah Bell has spoken out for the first time since reports emerged that she was being investigating for allegedly “slashing her Korean rival” Lim Eun-soo during warm-ups at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The Washington Post reports that the International Skating Union, the international figure skating governing body, determined there was “no evidence”of Bell deliberately cutting Eun-soo’s calf with her skate blade while the two were on the ice.
Bell, on her private Instagram, wrote that she meant no harm to Eun-soo when the injury happened and that the comments that Bell and her family received after news of the incident spread were hard to take in.
E! published Bell’s Instagram caption, reporting that the 22-year-old skater wrote yesterday, “As I told Eunsoo in Japan, the incident at practice was very unfortunate and I meant absolutely no harm (sic). Our training environment is professional and supportive, and I’ve never changed locker rooms or training times or anything like that. The comments that my friends, family and I received on social media were hateful and disturbing and hopefully this situation raises awareness and causes people to think twice before hitting ‘tweet’ or ‘post.’ I learned a lot about my inner strength last week, and I’m excited to continue to train in the lead up to Beijing in 2022.”
Eun-soo’s sports agency All That Sports told Yonhap News that Bell had “been bullying Eun-soo for months and launched a verbal attack on her just before the world championships,” where the accidental skating injury happened. Eun-soo received medical treatment after her calf was cut, and her agency claimed that Bell didn’t apologize to the 16-year-old South Korean skater immediately after the harm was done.
All That Sports asked the Korean Skating Union to file a complaint on Eun-soo’s behalf with the International Skating Union. The Korean Skating Union did, and ISU cleared Bell in its investigation.