Short Track Speed Skating: US Championships

Skaters call accusations against Chun “baseless”

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Less than a week after 14 current members of the U.S. short track team filed a code of conduct complaint with U.S. Speedskating the USOC that alleged abuse by head coach Jae Su Chun, nine teammates have released a statement calling the accusations “baseless” and “false.”

“We have never seen any abuse take place — physical, sexual, verbal or emotional — and we know these men are not capable of abuse,” the statement reads. “We truly believe that Jae Su is the most knowledgeable short track speedskating coach in the world and that he conducts himself ethically and with integrity in every way.”

The list of athletes who signed the statement includes Vancouver bronze medalists Lana Gehring and Kimberly Derrick, as well as Jessica Smith, John-Henry Krueger, Tamara Frederick, Cole Krueger, Eduardo Alvarez, Chris Creveling and Keith Carroll Jr.

The members who accuse Chun of abuse say he threw one skater into a wall and called female members “fat” and “disgusting.” The group is boycotting the national team and have requested arbitration so that Chun’s dismissal can be expedited before World Cup Team Trials begin Sept. 30 in Utah.

Gehring agrees that Chun pushes the team hard, but told the AP that he cares deeply about his skaters. The group concludes the statement by saying they plan on cooperating with the investigation and would like to “put this behind us and get back to focusing on what U.S. speedskaters do best — winning medals!”

We’ll see what kind of divide the outcome, whatever it happens to be, creates between teammates.

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: