Brothers Liu Shaolin Sandor and Liu Shaoang, short track speed skaters who helped Hungary win its first Winter Olympic gold medals, want to start the process of changing nationality.
The brothers requested the consent of Hungary’s federation to switch countries, though they did not name the country, according to the federation. The brothers were born in Budapest to a Hungarian mother and a Chinese father and now train in China, according to the federation.
The brothers have not commented on the federation’s annoucement.
Any skater wishing to change countries must be granted a release from their original country and sit out competition for 12 months, according to the federation, citing International Skating Union rules.
The Hungarian federation said it will address the situation at its next board meeting.
After last season, the brothers followed the Hungarian national team coach, who returned to her home country of China to take its head coaching job. The Hungarian federation said the brothers trained with the Chinese national team while also receiving assistance from a Hungarian national team coach but did not find the situation suitable.
In 2018, the Liu brothers made up half of the Hungarian men’s 5000m relay team that won the nation’s first Winter Olympic gold medal.
This year, Liu Shaoang won the Olympic 500m to become the first Hungarian to win an individual Winter Olympic title. He then won the overall world title in April in the last international competition for either brother. Liu Shaolin Sandor did not compete at worlds.
Neither brother competed in the first two World Cups this season in Montreal and Salt Lake City the last two weeks.
Another Hungarian skater, 2018 U.S. Olympic silver medalist John-Henry Krueger, will no longer compete for the national team after an unspecified disciplinary situation, according to Hungarian media in July quoting a national team manager. Efforts to reach Krueger, who switched from the U.S. to Hungary after the 2018 Olympics at least in part for financial reasons, have been unsuccessful.
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