Breaking the Ice

South Koreans take enormous pride in watching their speed skaters win top honors, including October's haul of 15 out of 20 gold medals at World Cup skating events in China. But national pride turned to anger last week after allegations surfaced that at least three members of the South Korean women's team may have been victims of beatings by some of their coaches. According to three unsigned letters sent to a local news agency, the coaches allegedly administered frequent lashings with plastic skate guards, hockey sticks, shoes and skate sharpeners: "Anything could be turned into a rod," read one letter. The...

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