A young American figure skater is accused of kicking and slashing her arch rival with her skates, reminding some of the scandal that surrounded Tonya Harding.
Mariah Bell, 22, allegedly attacked South Korea’s Lim Eun-Soo, 16. The alleged attack happened during warm-ups for the women’s short program at the world skating championship in Japan.
Photos show Bell skating right behind the 16-year-old. Then, in another photo, the South Korean teen is seen grabbing her leg in pain. She quickly exited the ice.
The controversy is reminding many of the notorious 1994 Winter Olympics qualifiers when Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee after Harding's husband planned the attack. Harding was cleared of any involvement in the attack on Kerrigan. Harding’s husband pleaded guilty to racketeering in connection with the assault in February 1994.
The attack has come to be known as one of the greatest scandals in Olympic history.
But Bell's choreographer, Olympic gold medalist Adam Rippon, said this is not like the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.
“What happened in the warm-up was an accident,” Rippon tweeted.
Lim suffered a gash to her leg that was quickly bandaged.
It didn't stop her from competing; she performed her personal best and came ahead of Bell.
In a statement, the International Skating Union said it's aware of the incident and no formal complaint has been received but there's no evidence that Bell intended to harm Lim.