New footage: US figure skater slashes Korean rival with her skate

Dramatic moment US figure skater, Mariah Bell, 22, slashes Korean rival Lim Eun-soo, 16, with her skate during warm up is revealed in brand new footage as the pair appear frosty as they return to the ice today

  • American Mariah Bell, 22, was accused of deliberately injuring Lim Eun-soo, 16 
  • She allegedly kicked the South Korean skater before the women’s short program on Wednesday
  • The International Skating Union said it looked at video footage and found there was no evidence Bell intentionally tried to hurt Lim 
  • Lim suffered a gash on her leg and had to be bandaged before skating 
  • On Friday the duo took to the ice together but didn’t look at one another   
  • Following the incident on Wednesday Lim placed fifth in the women’s short program at Saitama, while Bell placed in sixth 
  • Bell finished in 9th place overall in the world championships in Japan on Friday while Lim came in 10th 
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This is the moment that US figure skater, Mariah Bell, 22, slashed her Korean rival Lim Eun-soo, 16, with one of her skates during a warm up session that sparked accusations that the American was intentionally trying to hurt her competition.

Footage, which appears to have been shot on a cellphone from the stands, shows Lim skating gracefully round the rink shortly before the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan.

Bell can be seen coming up behind her on the ice and performing a pirouette, before gliding past her rival with her leg extended out behind her.

Suddenly, Lim’s expression became pained and she crumpled over, while Bell  skated past her. That was the moment the American athlete’s skate slashed open Lim’s leg, leaving her with a gash.

The Korean skater received medical treatment and later returned to the ice with a bandage around her leg. Her management agency have since accused Bell of intentionally kicking and cutting Lim.

However, the International Skating Union said its looked at video footage and found there was no evidence it was intentional.

Lim finished in 10th place overall in the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan on Friday while Bell scooped 9th place. 

On Friday, the pair returned to the ice but neither seemed too pleased to see each other and the duo barely looked at each other during practice


Footage, which appears to have been shot on a cellphone from the stands, shows Lim skating gracefully round the rink shortly before the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan 


Suddenly, Lim’s expression became pained and she crumpled over, while Bell skated past her


That was the moment the American athlete’s skate slashed open Lim’s leg, leaving her with a gash


The incident sparked accusations that the American was intentionally trying to hurt her competition

They allege that Lim had been slowly skating on the edge of the rink after completing her turn when the incident happened. 

‘Mariah Bell, who was scheduled to rehearse after Lim, suddenly kicked and stabbed Lim’s calf with her skate blades,’ the teen’s agent told Agence France-Presse. 

‘Mariah Bell didn’t apologize to Lim after the incident and instead continued to rehearse for her routine.’ 

Lim, who was skating in her first senior world championships, suffered a gash on her calf. The wound was treated and bandaged. 

The covering on Lim’s leg was still visible on Friday. 

Despite the incident, Lim skated a personal best of 72.91 points on Wednesday night. 

She placed fifth in the women’s short program at Saitama, while Bell placed in sixth. 


Eyes down: Mariah Bell of the U.S. and South Korea’s Lim Eun-soo before the warm-up for the Ladies Free Skating on Friday


The duo don’t look at each other: Lim greets the audience during the warm-up of the Ladies Free Skating as Mariah Bell of the U.S. skates by


Bell, 22, has been accused of kicking Lim Eun-soo, 16, during a warm-up before they were set to skate at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan on Wednesday. Bell seen here on Friday


Lim’s management agency claims Bell kicked the teen skater, causing a cut to her leg while the women were rehearsing before the women’s short program on Wednesday. Lim is seen here on Friday


Lim’s agency claims Bell (pictured after the incident) didn’t apologize to Lim Eun-soo after the incident and instead continued to rehearse for her routine’ 


Lim bends down in pain. Her management agency accused Bell of intentionally kicking and cutting her

The International Skating Union revealed on Thursday that it had been made aware of the allegations against Bell from Lim’s agency and the Korea Skating Union. 

ISU officials said the incident was verbally reported by the Korean Team Leader but that it did not receive a formal complaint. 

‘Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms Bell intended any harm to Ms Lim,’ the ISU said in an official statement.  


On Friday, in the free skate, Lim Eun-soo was seen still sporting her bandage 

‘The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution,’ it added. ‘The ISU maintains that this remains the appropriate approach.’   

Bell and Lim both train under coach Rafael Arutyunyan in Los Angeles, and the Korean skater’s management claims that Bell has been ‘bullying Lim for months’ leading up to the world championships. 

But Olympian US figure skater Adam Rippon quickly shot down allegations of bullying on Twitter. 


The International Skating Union said it looked at video footage and found there was no evidence Bell intentionally tried to hurt Lim (Bell pictured during the ladies’ short program at the World Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday) 


Lim, who was skating in her first senior world championships (pictured), was patched up before scoring a personal-best 72.91 points on Wednesday

‘I’ve been to the rink multiple times and NO ONE has been bullying anyone, he tweeted on Wednesday.  

‘Stop creating s**t and spreading rumors. What happened in the warm up was an accident. Don’t distract both Eunsoo and Mariah from the competition.’ 

‘Mariah and Eunsoo are competitive and train all the time together at home,’ he added. ‘Bullying is something Rafael would never tolerate.’    

Skating fans in South Korea quickly took to social media to condemn Bell on Wednesday, with many noting the claim that she hadn’t apologized to Lim at the time. 

‘The problem with Mariah Bell was that she was skating too close to the edge and her blade stabbed into Eunsoo’s leg,’ tweeted one fan. ‘Putting all bullying rumors aside, shouldn’t she have apologized?’

Some skating fans showed their support for Bell, while others asked that her detractors ‘calm down and analyze’ the situation.  

‘Why would a veteran skater like Bell injure someone during a PUBLIC PRACTICE in front of hundreds of fans?’ asked one Twitter user. ‘None of the fans, who were taking notes, said ANYTHING about a collision.’


Lim placed fifth in the short skate at Saitama, just ahead of Bell at the championships 


Bell and Lim both train under coach Rafael Arutyunyan in Los Angeles, and the Korean skater’s management claims that Bell has been ‘bullying Lim for months’


But Olympian US figure skater Adam Rippon shot down allegations of bullying on Twitter

Many also called for skating fans to stop cyberbullying Bell after her Instagram was flooded with comments comparing her to American figure skater Tonya Harding. 

Harding rocked the figure skating world when her ex-husband and bodyguard were accused of planning an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. 

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It was a sensational news story that dominated headlines for months and was later turned into the Academy-Award winning film I, Tonya.  

Kerrigan went on to win silver at the Olympics while Harding finished in eighth place. 

Harding was later banned for life from participating in US Figure Skating as either a skater or coach after a USFSA panel concluded that she had prior knowledge of the attack. 

Olympic champion, Russia’s Alina Zagitova won the free skate on Friday to capture her first title at the figure skating world championships. 




This week’s controversy has reminded many of the famous rivalry between US figure skaters Tonya Harding (left) and Nancy Kerrigan (right). Harding’s husband and bodyguard arranged an attack on Kerrigan before the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics 

THE SCANDAL THAT ROCKED AMERICAN FIGURE SKATING 

In the lead-up to the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, the figure skating world was closely watching Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. 

After Kerrigan was attacked just one day before the US Figure Skating Championship in January 1994, the whole world was watching. 

Kerrigan and Harding were both dominating the sport before the attack. Harding won first at the 1991 US Championship, placed fourth in the 1992 Olympics, and became the first American woman to successfully land a triple Axel in competition and the second woman to do it in history. 


The attack on Nancy Kerrigan by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband completely rocked the world of figure skating, dominated American headlines for month, and got Harding banned from the sport for life 

But it was Kerrigan who had the momentum before Lillehammer. She won a silver medal at the Olympics in 1992 and was named the US Championship in 1993. 

A day before she could have the chance to defend her title, Kerrigan was struck with a baton just above her right knee. It was soon revealed that Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckardt had orchestrated the attack. 

Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the championship games and Harding won first place. 

Both women were then selected for the US 1994 Olympic team. Kerrigan went on to win silver at the Olympics while Harding finished in eighth place. 

Harding was later banned for life from participating in US Figure Skating as either a skater or coach after a USFSA panel concluded that she had prior knowledge of the attack. 

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