Canadian hockey player Jocelyne Larocque has issued an apology after quickly removing her silver medal following a loss to the U.S. women’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday, February 22.
“I want to apologize to the IOC, IIHF, the PyeongChang Olympic Organizing Committee, Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and most especially to my teammates and our fans for removing my silver medal after it was presented to me,” Larocque, 29, said in a statement. “In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me.”
Canada's Jocelyne Larocque took off her silver medal immediately after receiving it. #WinterOlympics https://t.co/wS6s9ulmoA pic.twitter.com/CcjiKOd58W
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018
Fans of the Olympics took to social media to criticize the defenseman for poor sportsmanship after she held the medal in her hand instead of wearing it around her neck at the post-game ceremony. “I meant no disrespect — it has been an honor to represent my country and win a medal for Canada. I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games,” she continued. “Being on the podium at the world’s biggest sporting event is a great achievement and one that I’m thankful I was able to experience with my teammates.”
The athlete then addressed her fans and apologized for her actions. “For all my fans, young and old, please understand this was a moment in time that I truly wish I could take back. I take seriously being a role model to young girls and representing our country,” she added. “My actions did not demonstrate the values of our team, myself and my family life and for that, I am truly sorry.”
Hockey Canada general manager Melody Davidson released a statement to the Winnipeg Free Press after speaking to Larocque. “She is very remorseful and takes responsibility for her error,” Davidson said. “Emotions run high at the Olympic Games, and never more so than in a gold-medal game, but at all times we expect our program to act professionally and demonstrate sound sportsmanship.”
The U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold medal after beating Canada in a historic match. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson delivered the winning goal for the U.S. to make it 3-2. Canada has won the last four Olympic gold medals.