Sándor Liu Shaolin, who previously won the Olympic championship title in Hungarian colors, and his brother, the two-time Olympic champion Liu Shaoang, received Chinese citizenship already at Christmas, reports Világgazdaság with reference to Chinese newspapers.
As is well known, the two-speed skaters indicated on October 30 that they do not wish to sign their new athlete contracts for the period between 2022 and 2026, and request to change countries by mutual agreement, and at the same time to be released from any additional payment or other obligations arising from their previous contractual relationship. The association made its consent conditional on the competitors fulfilling the obligations contained in the athlete contracts dated March 1, 2019.
The loss of the Liu brothers is also a big setback for Lajos Kósa, the president of the Hungarian National Skating Association (MOKSZ), who told Mandiner in August that
“the Liu brothers are Hungarian citizens and will compete in Hungarian colors”.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work.
“We were also partners in having the brothers prepare in China with the Chinese team in the form of a kind of special training camp – the preparation costs were financed by the Hungarian association, moreover, Jie Su Chun, who still has a valid contract with the association, helped the boys during this period” Kósa explained to Nemzeti Sport.
I negotiated with them several times, each time asking them what we could do to make them reconsider their decision. They replied that nothing can be done. From there, we had little room for negociations.
– he revealed.
According to Lajos Kósa, there are several reasons for the situation. One of them is definitely that the guys envisioned a continuation with their coach, Lina, who left for China. The other is that their father is Chinese, lives in Beijing, and invited his sons to visit him several times. The third is that we do not necessarily know the conditions that the Chinese can create at home. If the National Skating Center is built, then yes, he explained.
They would win medals for China at the next Winter Olympics
The expedited procedure is necessary due to international Olympic rules. After a possible change of country, the athlete cannot compete in the Olympics for three years, this is the amount of “patience” time that must elapse according to the rules. However, if the matter had dragged on for a long time, the participation of the Liu brothers in 2026 would have been in jeopardy, as the next Winter Olympics in Italy are just three years away, starting on February 6, 2026.
According to Chinese newspapers, the Liu brothers are expected to form a team with Hyojun Im, who previously became an Olympic champion in South Korean colors and then took up Chinese citizenship in 2021 – Világgazdaság learned.