Last year in the World Speed Skating Championship in Poland, U.S. speed skater Simon Cho apparently tampered with Canadian Olivier Jean’s skates, causing enough damage to make Canada finish last in the relay final. Cho came clean and apologized to Jean over the phone, but now it appears that his coach, Jae Su Chun, was the mastermind of this devious, devious plot.
“‘He asked me in English … ‘mess up the blades,'” Cho said of his coach’s instructions. ‘Later he made the same request in Korean, he made it twice. He was not only coming to me as my coach but as a Korean elder. In the Korean culture, that’s very difficult to deny. I said I’d do it.'”
Not cool, pulling the Korean elder card.
And this, if you’re wondering, is how you tamper with someone’s blades.
“Cho explained he had only a few seconds to act in an empty dressing room shared by the Americans and Canadians at the 2011 world team championships in Poland. Since Jean had been sitting next to him, Cho grabbed his skates, put them in a bending machine and altered the blades. It was enough to throw Jean off balance and scuttle his race. The Canadians finished last in the relay final. The Americans had already been eliminated from the final.”
At least there are no performance enhancers, only performance inhibitors.