Nineteen current and former U.S. speedskaters have band together and will request arbitration to expedite the dismissal of short track coach Jae Su Chun, who the team members filed a code of conduct complaint against with U.S. Speedskating (USS) and the USOC for “unchecked abuse.”
The complain alleges a number of incidents involving Chun, including shoving one skater into a wall and repeatedly hitting him, as well as throwing bottles, chairs, binders, and equipment, and calling female athletes “fat,” and “disgusting.” Chun acknowledged the allegations, but claimed he was innocent in a translated statement released Monday.
The athletes are hoping to have Chun, who was put on administrative leave Sunday, and assistants Jun Hyung Yeo and Jimmy Jang removed before the 2012-13 World Cup team is selected on Sept. 30, since World Cup points are directly related to how speedskaters qualify for the Olympics.
However Yeo wasn’t suspended and will step in as interim coach in the meantime, which apparently doesn’t satisfy the skaters’ request.
“The athletes we represent have made known that they will not represent the United States in the upcoming World Cup international competitions if made to participate on a team on which coach Jae Su and/or his two assistant coaches are members, as coaches or in any other capacity,” Edward Williams, the attorney for the skaters, said Monday.
USS communications director, Tamara Castellano, said during a Monday conference call that the governing body hopes to have the investigation done in time for the team trials on Sept. 27 in Salt Lake City.
David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.
“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”
Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.
She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.
“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”
Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.
MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics
Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.
Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.
He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.
“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”
Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.
“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.
“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”
MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds