Hungary’s first Olympic gold medalists, the Liu brothers, Sándor Shaolin and Shaoang Shaolin, have asked the Hungarian National Skating Federation (MOKSZ) to allow them to continue competing in other countries. However, this could be very expensive.
Hungary’s first Winter Olympic gold medallists change countries
As we have reported, the Hungarian National Skating Federation (MOKSZ) has announced in a press release that Sándor Shaolin and Shaoang Shaolin have requested the federation to continue competing in another country. The Liu brothers did not name the country.
Liu Shaoang, a two-time Olympic champion, won the 500m sprint in 2022, while four years ago he won a medal as a member of the relay team. He is also a six-time world champion. His brother Liu Shaolin was also a member of the 2018 relay team and was the runner-up, winning the first Winter Olympic gold medal in Hungary’s history.
The Liu sisters had already indicated in August that they would like to train in China, following their coach Lina Zhang, who left the Hungarian national team, 444.hu reports.
Exit could be expensive
Lajos Kósa, the head of the MOKSZ, said “I will propose to the presidency to release the boys, but the outstanding obligation must be settled”.
There are obligations around the Liu brothers’ competition rights that someone has to settle if they want to compete in Chinese colours instead of Hungarian, writes nso.hu.
In the event of a change of country, the athlete may not compete in International Skating Federation competitions for three years, unless the costs incurred during the last three-year period for the athlete are paid to the IOCI. These costs can be up to HUF 100-150 million (EUR 249-374 thousand) per athlete.
Kósa said it was understandable that the Liu brothers would follow their coach to China. It also makes economic sense, with the Hungarian state paying 50 million forints for an Olympic gold medal and China paying two million dollars, or 800 million forints. To change countries, Sándor Shaolin and Shaoang must renounce their Hungarian citizenship and thus their Olympic annuity.
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Source: nso.hu, 444.hu
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