Speed skater hospitalized for psychological treatment after PyeongChang Olympics

March 15, 2018
This file photo taken Feb. 24, 2018, shows South Korean speed skater Kim Bo-reum at a press conference at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

This file photo taken Feb. 24, 2018, shows South Korean speed skater Kim Bo-reum at a press conference at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) — South Korean speed skater Kim Bo-reum, who won silver in the women’s mass start at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, has been hospitalized for psychological treatment, along with her mother, the athlete’s agency said Wednesday.

Bravo and New said Kim visited a hospital in her hometown of Daegu on Monday, and a doctor advised hospitalization after she showed symptoms of anxiety disorder. Kim’s mother showed similar symptoms and was recommended for hospitalization, it added.

Kim was at the center of controversy regarding South Korea’s performance in the women’s team pursuit competition. She was bombarded with censure by the public for blaming her teammate Noh Sun-young for the team’s poor performance in a preliminary contest.

During the race, Noh fell far behind her teammates with two laps to go and failed to narrow the gap before the finish line. Kim and Park Ji-woo did not look back, drawing criticism that they failed to work as a team.

The situation enraged many South Korean fans and 600,000 people signed a petition to the presidential office to disqualify Kim as a national team member.

According to officials, Kim was afraid to meet people during her stay at the athletes’ village in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, following the incident. The 25-year-later claimed silver in the women’s mass start, but that failed to quell fans’ anger.

“It looks like her trauma from the Olympic Games was severe,” an official with Bravo and New said. “Since we haven’t seen the results of other mental tests on her, it isn’t clear how long she will stay at a hospital with her mother.”

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