World-class figure skater Jessica Shuran Yu, who ended her career, opened up to the mental and physical violence she experienced while training in China as a child.
Born and raised in China, Yu represented Singapore in figure skating.
Yu, 19, who performed at the 2017 World Championships in Helsinki, said on his Instagram account that his coach barked at skaters with the words "lazy", "fat", "stupid" and "useless". The coach often hit Yuta with the plastic cover of the skate during the exercises.
- I was 11 years old when the assault began. When he was angry with me for what seemed to happen every time I made the slightest mistake, he told me to reach out my hand. On the worst days, I was beaten more than ten times until my skin was tender, Yu said.
The coach also kicked him with a skate blade as well.
- Even if I had bleed after the kick, I had to continue training without limping so that I would not have angered him any more.
His sports career was very short
According to Yun, the amount of physical violence decreased as he began competing in adult series. However, verbal insults were commonplace throughout their careers. Yu ended his career in the summer of 2018, at just 17 years old.
Yu stressed that there is a need to talk about ethical issues in aesthetic sports such as figure skating and gymnastics.
- If publishing my story can raise awareness and help others cope with their experiences, then this is more than worth it.
Allegations of violence against young athletes have grown rocketly around the sports world in recent times. Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch reported that Japanese child athletes suffered physical, mental and verbal abuse.
In South Korea, young triathlete Suk-hyeon Choi committed suicide in early July due to the physical and mental violence of the coaches. Cases have also come to light in the United States and Britain, for example.