Shim apologized for “disappointing and marking many people with my immature words, demeanor and attitude at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics,” in a statement released by his Galaxia SM management.
“I would particularly like to say sorry from the bottom of my heart to Kim A-lang, Choi Min-jeong and the technical staff who would have been shocked by the news,” she added in the statement.
In the text messages, Shim said she cheered on Chinese Qu Chuyu in the women’s 500m quarter-finals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, instead of her teammate Choi.
When Choi cried during an interview after being disqualified in the 500m final, Shim texted, “This interview was rubbish.”
Shim even said the South Korean women’s 3,000m short track relay team should have been disqualified after winning gold with her teammates.
“I’m embarrassed that we won a gold medal,” Shim wrote to the coach, who replied, “I’m embarrassed.”
Choi’s management company, All That Sports, released a statement on Tuesday citing CEO Koo Dong-hoi’s concern over the “unpatriotic act” that Shim might perform at next year’s Olympics after supporting a Chinese skater in previous Games.
“Supporting the Chinese opponent of a national teammate in a public space, during an Olympic Games held in our country, despite the competition of her teammate, cannot be understood with common sense because she is a national athlete with a Taegeuk. [Korean flag] mark on his chest, ”Koo said.
Shim said she was mentally and physically unstable at the time due to former trainer Cho’s abuse, which gave her symptoms of concussion.
“I couldn’t control the anger in me, so I always thought about showing an aggressive demeanor and an immature side of myself to others,” she said, citing Cho’s abuse.
Stroke correction possible
In addition to making fun of her teammates, Shim is also accused of rigging the race in the women’s 1000m short track final in Pyeongchang.
Shim and the anonymous coach mention “Bradbury” several times in their texts a few days before the final. The coach texted, “If you’ve got the strength, let’s do Bradbury,” which Shim agreed to.
Steven Bradbury is an Australian speed skater renowned for winning the most unexpected gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He had to cross the finish line alone as all the other competitors in the race tumbled down and fell on the ice.
The two have spoken of making a Bradbury wife on several occasions in their text messages.
In the 1,000m final at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Shim and Choi got tangled and collided on the ice while running on the outer course of the track. Choi finished 4th and Shim was disqualified, leading to speculation in light of text messages that she may have deliberately caused the collision.
But Shim, in her statement, completely denied the possibility that she was rigging the race.
“I would like to clarify the part of the article that states that I intentionally fell in the Olympics, referring to Bradbury, is not at all true,” said Shim, apologizing for scoring his teammates .
Choi’s representatives called on the Korea Skating Union (KSU) and the Korean Olympic and Sports Committee (KSOC) to look into the case and verify the facts about a possible intentional collision.
Koo said, “Choi Min-jeong not only missed her promising chance to win a gold medal after hitting her teammate, but she was also seriously injured… because she injured her knee ligaments during the collision.”
He added that if Shim and the coach were to deliberately try to create a situation similar to Bradbury’s, the case should be viewed as a “foul play” which harmed Choi.
Separated from the national team
Shim became a national icon after sharing her experience of sexual abuse.
But now the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is postponing plans to honor Shim at its national sports awards ceremony on Friday until a final conclusion is drawn from the investigation. conducted by KSU and KSOC, the ministry official confirmed to CNN.
The KSU temporarily banned Shim from the national training center on Monday, separating her from the rest of the national team.
“We think it’s difficult [for Shim and the national team] stay and train together… We need to investigate the issues, so we decided that we shouldn’t keep them together in a hurry in the national team just yet, ”the KSU official told CNN.
Shim was pulled from the national team ahead of the International Skating Union’s short track speed skating world cup, which is set to start in Beijing next week, but she could still compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics if the investigation finds no fault.
The KSU and KSOC are currently forming an investigative committee which would begin to examine the case by checking the facts and listening to the stories of those involved.
Since the committee itself has no legal force, it will primarily focus on gaming operations such as a possible intentional collision, the KSU official said.
Shim will reflect on her “past immature attitude” and strive – as she did – to be better, she said in a statement where she stressed that there was no connection between her. SMS and the 1000m final.