Peter Oppegard is finally being punished for multiple disturbing things he has done over the years.
The former U.S. Olympian and current figure skating coach was suspended Monday following an investigation into abuse allegations. According to USA Today’s Christine Brennan, the U.S. Center for SafeSport suspended the 1988 bronze medalist for an unspecified duration after identifying “physical & emotional” misconduct.
Back in 2013, he allegedly bit 15-year-old skater Jessica Pfund during a practice session.
“He was helping to position me on the ice to show me a landing position on a jump. Both of his hands were holding me, and he leaned over and bit me on the skin on my upper right arm, near the bicep,” Pfund said. “I remember being completely baffled why he did it. I went home with a bruise and a bite mark on my arm. My mom said, ‘I can see the teeth marks.’”
Pfund said the marks persisted for about a week. She asked her mother, who also corroborated the story to Brennan and called the bite marks “obvious,” not to talk about Oppegard’s actions “because every time she would try, everything would get worse with him, our lessons and the criticism would get worse.”
She said she and her mother talked about what to do about the incident at home that night. “I asked my mom not to say anything about it because every time she would try, everything would get worse with him, our lessons and the criticism would get worse. It was better to say nothing.”
Pfund also said they were worried about what could happen to Oppegard’s wife at the time, Karen Kwan, and their two daughters.
The SafeSport investigation, which began in July 2020, also looked into allegations that Oppegard threw hot water and coffee at skaters he coached on multiple occasions. That allegedly took place at California’s East West Ice Palace in Artesia, where he coached from 2005 to 2018.
SafeSport spokesman Dan Hill declined to comment on the investigation “to protect the integrity of the process and the parties involved.”