U.S. figure skater Mariah Bell has had it up to here with the haters blaming her for South Korean rival Lim Eun-soo‘s injury.
During a warm-up at the World Championships last week, Bell, 22, skated past the 16-year-old, made contact and left her with a slashed leg. Lim received medical attention and was able to compete while wearing a bandage. She finished fifth, while Bell came in sixth.
The International Skating Union (ISU) ruled that the incident, which brought back memories of the Tonya Harding–Nancy Kerrigan feud in the ’90s, was an accident. Meanwhile, Bell and her loved ones have received a slew of nasty comments about the ordeal on social media.
“As I told Eunsoo in Japan, the incident at practice was very unfortunate and I meant absolutely no harm (sic),” Bell wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “Our training environment is professional and supportive, and I’ve never changed locker rooms or training times or anything like that.”
Koki Nagahama/Getty Images; Matthew Stockman – International Skating Union (ISU)/ISU via Getty Images
“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,'” she said.
Bell added, “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.”