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Death Threat Forces US Short Track Speedskating Team to Pull Out of World Cup Event - 2003-11-22


The U.S. short track speedskating team has pulled out of next week's World Cup event in South Korea, as a result of death threats sent by e-mail to Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno, one of the team members.

In addition to the considerable security concerns about Ohno, U.S. Speedskating director Katie Marquard says the other skaters would not feel safe competing at the event in Jeonju, November 28 - 30.

Ohno won two medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic games, including a disputed gold over South Korean Kim Dong-sung. Kim won the race, but Ohno was declared the winner when the referee ruled the South Korean skater used an illegal block to stay in front.

South Korean officials proposed a security plan for the upcoming event after learning of the threat, but Ohno said he would only make the trip if those who threatened him were caught.

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