Who Is Mariah Bell? New Details About The US Skater Accused Of Slashing Korean Rival With Skate

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Who Is Mariah Bell? New Details About The US Skater Accused Of Slashing Korean Rival With Skate

Figure skater Mariah Bell has found herself in a bit of controversy. While practicing her routing, the 22-year-old Olympic hopeful's sake blade collided with South Korea's Lim Eun-soo's leg. Memories of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal were immediately on everyone's mind. Both figure skaters were practicing for the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan. Did Mariah Bell intentionally slash her competitor's leg with her skate blade or was it simply an accident? Who is Mariah Bell?

1. The controversy

Mariah Bell has been accused of deliberately injuring Lim Eun-soo's leg during a practice session. Bell's skate blade caused a gash on Lim's calf. All That Sports, Lim's sports agency, believes the incident was intentional and that Bell has exhibited a pattern of bullying towards Lim. Reportedly, Bell had a verbal outburst prior to the start of competition at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships. The Korean Skating Federation requested in inquiry into the incident and the International Skating Union conducted an investigation and concluded that it found no evidence that Bell had intentionally set out to injure Lim. Additionaly, the Skating Union urged both young women to resolve the matter amicably.

2. Her background

Mariah Bell was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 18, 1996. Her older sister Morgan is also a skater who worked with Disney on Ice. She started skating at age four because of her sister. When she was 12, she moved with her mom and sister from Houston to Westminister, Colorado where she graduated from Ralston Valley High School in 2014. She placed fifth in the junior division at the 2012 U.S. Championships. In the 2013 U.S. Championships she won the silver medal in the junior division. 

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3. Lim went down

Mariah Bell and Lim Eun-soo were in the middle of a practice session at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championship. Bell was in the middle of practicing her short program when one of her legs clipped the calf of the 16-year-old South Korean skater. Lim immediately reached down and grabbed her leg, clearly in pain. Lim competed later in the same day with a bandaid on her leg. She turned in her personal best in terms of her score and finished fifth. Bell finished sixth.

4. The bullying charge

In a Korean news article, Lim's agency claimed that the incident was premeditated and that Bell had been bullying Lim for months. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon jumped to Bell's defense and called the article "click bait." He took to Twitter and wrote, "I've been to the rink multiple times and NO ONE has been bullying anyone. What happened in the warm up was an accident. Don’t distract both Eunsoo and Mariah from the competition.” He went on to point out that both skaters share the same ice time every day as well as the same locker room that Rippon is also in. The two figure skaters also have the same trainer in Lakewood, California.

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5. U.S. Figure Skating's statement

U.S. Figure Skating released a statement about the incident and the competition, which runs throuhg Sunday, March 24th. "The athletes met this morning and good luck wishes were exchanged. Mariah is looking forward to competing tonight in the ladies free skate.” 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.