Speedskating announces World Cup coaching plan amid scandal
Published: October 8, 2012 12:29PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 04:23PM
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Utah Olympic Oval FAST Team members skate during practice for the U.S. Single Distance Short Track Speedskating Championships, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, in Kearns. Fourteen current members of the national team, including 2010 Olympic medalists Allison Baver, J.R. Celski, Travis Jayner and Jordan Malone, initially signed a grievance alleging they were abused verbally, physically and psychologically by head coach Jae Su Chun. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Pat Wentland and Stephen Gough will coach the short-track speedskaters in U.S. Speedskating’s national racing program who will compete at World Cup races later this month amid the scandal that led to the suspension of the national-team coaches, the federation said Monday.

Wentland is a former national-team coach — he’s a member of the Speedskating Hall of Fame — who tutored legendary short-tracker Apolo Anton Ohno in his youth, while Gough is a former coach of the Canadian team who competed for Canada at the 1994 Lillehammer Games in Norway.

Regular national-team coaches Jae Su Chun and Jun Hyung Yeo have been suspended amid charges of abuse by a dozen skaters who have left the national-racing program.

Chun also was accused of ordering skater Simon Cho to tamper with a rival’s skate at the world championships last year, and an investigation found that both he and Yeo knew about the sabotage and failed to report it to U.S. Speedskating or international officials.

Wentland and Gough will work with the skaters who remain part of the national racing program. Others who have left program to skate with the FAST Club, also based at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, are expected to continue training that way, for now.

However, Wentland and Gough will travel with the entire group of skaters — comprised of athletes from both camps — that has qualified to race at World Cup events in Canada later this month, and in China and Japan later in the season.

Former Olympian and longtime coach Tony Goskowicz will coach the skaters in the national racing program who have not qualified for the World Cups, and who will remain in Utah training while the others are abroad.

Both Wentland and Goskowicz have been working most recently at the Academy of Skating Excellence, a joint program between U.S. Speedskating and the Pettit National Ice Center in Wisconsin.