Petition To Boot Two South Korea Speed Skaters From Olympics Reaches Nearly 600,000
Every time the Olympics rolls around, we get to see some incredible, awe-inspiring moments. While the solo sports are amazing feats of achievement, the team categories can be particularly brilliant, with each country represented by a group of people working together as one tight unit.
Even the slightest breakdown of that group and all their hopes and dream could come crashing down.
Well, one team of South Korean speed skaters has annoyed a decent portion of their country after seemingly leaving one of their teammates behind. The heat is so intense on this particular group that close to 600,000 people have signed a petition to have them kicked out of the Winter Olympics.
Speed skating, particularly team pursuit, requires the athletes to work closely together, both mentally and physically. But during the quarter-finals, Kim Bo-Reum and Park Ji Woo were accused of leaving their team mate Noh Seon-yeong to fall behind the pack.
The first two crossed the line right after each other and Noh was a whopping four seconds slower. In this category of skating, the team's time is recorded when the final member finishes. According to CBS, the front two speedskaters walked off together and left Noh crying in the infield of Gangneung Oval.
But there are differing stories from Kim and Park about what happened.
Ms Ji-Woo explained: "I was very shocked when I crossed the finish line, because that's when I realised Noh was not with us."
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Kim countered that with: "We were skating well. But the last skater couldn't keep up and we had a disappointing score."
The petition has been posted onto South Korea's official government website and the language used is nothing short of scathing.
The translation reads as: "Kim Joo-moo and Park Ji-woo are team players, but they are blinded to the individual's majors.
"It is an obvious national disgrace to be Olympic athlete.
"It is the case today that the Kim Jong Il and Park Ji-woo will be disqualified from nationality and the Olympic Games will be suspended for international competitions."
The petition is calling for an investigation into what the organiser calls 'various corruption and irregularities' at the Korea Skating Union - an allegation that the organisation hasn't responded to yet.
Sadly, this is the second Olympic upset for Noh, who was set to compete in the Sochi Games in 2014 with her brother Jin-kyu - however, her sibling was diagnosed with bone cancer and died two days after learning of his disease.
She was told by Korea Skating Union that due to an administrative error she wasn't listed in the pursuit team, but eventually got a spot after a few athletes withdrew.
Featured Image Credit: PA