Hong Kong's sole Winter Olympian slams lack of medical support as he crashes out of Sochi

Officials - sent instead of team doctor - were nowhere to be seen, Barton Lui says

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 3:47am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 9:05am

Hong Kong's sole Winter Olympian has lashed out at local sports officials for refusing to send a team doctor to Sochi after he crashed out of the competition.

Barton Lui Pan-to said a lack of medical attention for previous injuries left him below his physical peak as he finished fifth out of six in his heat in the 1,500-metre short-track speed skating on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, Hong Kong's first male Winter Olympian, told Commercial Radio he also felt slighted by the fact no local officials turned up to show support at his training sessions.

"I was not at my peak…There was a lot of training before the match, resulting in muscle pain and leg pain from old injuries," Lui said. "Massage would certainly help the pain. But there was no team doctor."

He said he had requested a doctor but was told that the quota for the seven-strong Hong Kong delegation was full. The delegation also included Sports Federation and Olympic Committee Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, committee secretary general Pang Chung and delegation chief Ronnie Wong Man-chiu. Without naming names, Lui said officials virtually ignored him.

"The only time I saw them was when I was having an interview with a TV station," Lui said.

Wong countered: "There are hospitals and clinics in the athletes' village. And we also helped him buy medicine."

Fok declined to comment.

Civic Party lawmaker Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok urged the Legislative Council's home affairs panel to look into Lui's claim.