Ex-Coach Sentenced to 10 Years for Raping Star Skater

So its not just young men or women in the U.S. who come under the influence of powerful and manipulative coaches of football or basketball, gymnastics, figure skating or some other sport. It happens elsewhere as well, with abuse that may go on for years by that coach, or doctor, or other trusted adult. 

In this case it was South Korea, where to the victim disclosure may seem more painful than the abuse itself. It may provide the perpetrator with a kind of shield and sense of invulnerability from capture which may persist for some period of time. It may even embolden the evil further. 

It just begs the question, that with so many of these situations having been revealed, with reputations not to mention livelihoods ruined that took years to build, how can someone with this guy’s stature be so mindless to embark on this path in the first place? Do they just think THEY are so masterful and have SUCH skill that THEY ALONE will never be caught?

I know one thing for sure! The speed-skating coach in this story either was never effectively taught that What Goes Around Comes Around, or he sure didn’t think it applied to him! 

He was wrong on both counts!!!

Cho Jae-beom, who had been fired from South Korea’s national team, was accused of sexually assaulting a two-time Olympic gold medalist starting when she was 17.


Ex-Coach Sentenced to 10 Years for Raping Star Skater

Cho Jae-beom, who had been fired from South Korea’s national team, was accused of sexually assaulting a two-time Olympic gold medalist starting when she was 17.

Cho Jae-beom, former coach of South Korea’s short-track speedskating team, was accused of rape by Shim Suk-hee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Tiffany May and

A former national speedskating coach in South Korea was sentenced on Thursday to more than a decade in prison on charges of raping an Olympic athlete.

The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was accused of rape in 2019 by Shim Suk-hee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating who said he had sexually assaulted her repeatedly starting when she was 17. A district court in the city of Suwon sentenced Mr. Cho to 10 years and six months in prison, along with 200 hours of treatment in a program for sex offenders.

Ms. Shim, 23, is a well-regarded figure in a sport that is a source of national pride; short-track speedskating has produced more Olympic gold medals for South Korea than any other nation. But like other sports in the country, it has long been shadowed by allegations of corruption and abuse, with few victims willing to speak out.

Prosecutors said the sexual assaults took place on 30 occasions from 2014 to 2017. Mr. Cho, who admitted to abusing Ms. Shim physically and verbally, denied the rape accusation, but the judge said on Thursday that Ms. Shim’s testimony was credible, and that text messages the two had exchanged also pointed to an inappropriate coach-athlete relationship.

Ms. Shim’s lawyer, Lim Sang-hyuk, said that although Mr. Cho’s conviction was a sign of progress, he felt the sentence was too lenient considering the suffering Ms. Shim had to endure.

In recent years, elite athletes around the world have exposed a culture of abuse in which coaches and doctors hold outsize power. In South Korea, physical abuse has often been seen as a harsh but inevitable part of training, especially when athletes go on to win prestigious prizes.

Shim Suk-hee at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Credit…Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Mr. Cho, 39, was convicted in 2018 of physically assaulting Ms. Shim and three other athletes, and his original sentence of 10 months in prison was extended to 18 months on appeal. He was fired as coach of the national short-track speedskating team earlier that year, shortly before the start of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Ms. Shim won her second Olympic gold medal at those Games, having won her first in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Her sexual abuse accusations against Mr. Cho were seen as a turning point in efforts to address abuses in South Korea’s speedskating community. President Moon Jae-in responded by urging government officials to take such allegations seriously. “This unveils the humiliating underside of our country’s glorious facade as a sports powerhouse,” he said in January 2019.

Some experts said that the government had long overlooked the widespread abuse of athletes and that recent measures, including the introduction of whistle-blower hotlines, had yielded little results. They suggested that it took Ms. Shim’s star power to hold people accountable.

“If Shim Suk-hee were not an Olympic gold medalist, her case too could have been buried,” Chung Yong-chul, a professor of sports psychology at Sogang University in Seoul, the South Korean capital, said at the time.

After the sentencing on Thursday, Ms. Shim said that she hoped it would encourage survivors of abuse to come forward with their experiences. “I hope the court’s decision will somewhat help victims within our society find their voice,” she said in a written statement. “I sincerely hope that similar incidents will never happen again in the future.”

Tiffany May reported from Hong Kong, and Youmi Kim from Seoul.

Ex-Coach Sentenced to 10 Years for Raping Star Skater

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Ex-Coach Sentenced to 10 Years for Raping Star Skater

And if you happen to be a fan of Louise L. Hay or other forward thinkers/authors like her, you may appreciate my new journal of life affirming aphorisms called Thoughts to Live By. They are meant to be a tool to start or end the day, or referenced to calm the raging beast when life events throw us off balance, ie: a possibly useful antidote during these challenging times.

Thoughts To Live By Rob Davis

What Goes Around available at Amazon

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews
Buy What Goes Around at Amazon

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC