Figure skater Mariah Bell has broken her silence about the accusations that she slashed her rival’s leg before a competition last week.
“As I told [Lim] Eun-soo in Japan, the incident at practice was very unfortunate and I meant absolutely no harm,” Bell wrote on her Instagram, according to E! News. “Our training environment is professional and supportive, and I’ve never changed locker rooms or training times or anything like that.”
According to reports, during warm-ups last week, Bell, 22, skated past Eun-soo, 16, and made contact with her, slashing her leg in the process. The South Korean competitor required medical treatment and needed to be bandaged up, but was still able to compete. She later placed 5th while Bell placed 6th.
The incident brought back memories of the infamous incident between Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. But this time, the International Skating Union (ISU) ruled Bell’s move was an accident.
But that hasn’t stopped the nasty comments against Bell, she says.
“The comments that my friends, family and I received on social media were hateful and disturbing and hopefully this situation raises awareness and causes people to think twice before hitting ‘tweet’ or ‘post.’”
“I learned a lot about my inner strength last week, and I’m excited to continue to train in the lead up to Beijing in 2022,” she added.
Eun-soo’s camp maintains that the slashing was intentional and said that Bell has been “bullying” Eun-soo for months.