On November 15, Korea's national women's curling representatives - nicknamed 'Team Kim' - opened up a press conference at a hotel in Seoul to give a formal testimony surrounding the coaching directors' mismanagement controversy.
Previously, 'Team Kim' reported their current coaching directors to the Korea Sports & Olympic Committee by claiming that for years, they were subject to unfair, mistreatment from their coaching directors.
Team Kim claims that their current coaching team - from the Kyung Buk Sports Organization and made up of a former vice president of the Korea Curling Federation, professor Kim Kyung Doo; the women's team head coach Kim Min Jung, and the mixed curling team head coach Jang Ban Suk - "wants to control the direction of Korea's curling, using athletes to their advantage by preventing the growths of athletes above their preferred levels... all to satisfy professor Kim's personal greed." (Professor Kim is father to coach Kim, and coach Kim and coach Jang are wife and husband.)
During the latest press conference, Team Kim members Kim Eun Jung, Kim Young Mi, Kim Sun Young, Kim Kyung Ae, Kim Cho Hee, and more further provided details on how the team has been suppressed by their coaching team throughout their careers. Below are recent, specific instances where Team Kim found their coaches' behaviors to be unjust and one-sided:
1. Team Kim members were booked to attend the school field day of their coaches' son, without being told that the event was taking place at their son's school.
2. Coach Jang never informed athlete Kim Eun Jung of any news regarding participation as a torch bearer for the Paralympics, but then informed the media that Kim Eun Jung did not want to be a torch bearer. Later, after Kim Eun Jung finished her duties as a torch bearer, the coaches claimed that they were able to convince Kim Eun Jung to bear the torch after much difficulty; however, Kim Eun Jung was only ordered to bear the torch just a few days before the event.
3. The Coaches declared that a bank account dedicated to handling the team's prize money from tournaments would be opened in 2015. However, the athletes were never informed that the account would be opened in professor Kim's name. The athletes have never had any access to any of the profit and expense records of this bank account from 2015 until the end of the 2018 Olympics. The Team Kim members would like to see detailed, full records of all activity revolving this bank account.
4. Team Kim members are also unaware of the whereabouts of various event payments received in the team's name.
5. Coaching team claimed that because Kim Eun Jung is now married, she must leave Team Kim and change her position. Team Kim members were made to dorm in different dorms and separated during training in an attempt to "break up" the team. Kim Eun Jung was also told that if she became pregnant, she would have to retire from her career.
6. All gifts and letters dedicated to Team Kim from fans were always delivered opened, with contents inspected.
7. Coaches prevented Team Kim members from participating in extended interviews during the Olympics, and athletes were ordered to only discuss what they were told by the coaches, for "fear that the athletes would come in contact with outside forces which would make it difficult for the coaches to control the athletes."
Finally, Team Kim explained that through a thorough investigation of the above matters, they want to remain a team and continue training together with bigger goals for the next Olympics. The team would also like to work with a proper coaching team and have access to a training center run for the purpose of aiding athletes, not controlled by one family.