There have been crazy stories in the past about athletes receiving death threats when they lose a big game, like soccer teams being killed for not winning the World Cup, but you would never think that winning would result in those same threats. Especially when you win a medal for your country during the Olympics. Unfortunately, one Olympic athlete is currently living that hellish nightmare and learning that winning a medal is not all that it is made out to be. Will she end up choosing to give the medal back just so the threats will stop?
Kim Boutin just won the bronze medal at the 500-meter short-track speedskating event and it is why she won the medal that people are now threatening her life. Is the Olympic committee doing enough to protect her as well as other Olympic athletes?
According to Global News, Canada’s Kim Boutin has been subjected to online threats following her bronze-medal win in the 500-meter short-track speedskating event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Boutin won with a time of 43.881 seconds, which put her in fourth. But the athlete from Sherbrooke, Que., was bumped up to third after South Korea’s Minjeong Choi was disqualified for interfering with the Canadian in Tuesday’s event.
Arianna Fontana of Italy won gold in 42.569 seconds while Yara van Kerkhof was second in 43.256.
Following her win, Boutin’s social media accounts were bombarded by apparent angry South Korean fans, some threatening the speedskater with her life.
According to Radio-Canada, most of the threats were posted on Boutin’s Instagram page, which has been turned to a private account.
“If I find you, you will die,” reads one comment, according to Radio-Canada. “Retire and I hope you have a hard life.”
Aol.com reported that some of the comments featured knife emojis while others called the speedskater a “f—ing b—ch.”
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) issued a statement Tuesday night (Wednesday morning Korea time) saying both the RCMP and Speed Skating Canada are looking into the threats.
“The health, safety, and security of all our team members is our top priority and as such we are working closely with Speed Skating Canada, our security personnel, and the RCMP,” the COC said in a statement. “We will not make further comment on this issue so that Kim can focus on her upcoming events.”
During a Wednesday morning press conference, Mark Adams, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson, said everyone should “respect the athletes” and the “Olympic spirit.”
“From the IOC’s point of view, none of us unfortunately or fortunately can control social media and the public has their right to say things. But clearly, we would ask everyone to respect the athletes and their performances and to support the great work they’ve done and to support the Olympic spirit,” Adams said. “These Olympics are about bringing different countries together to compete in the spirit of friendship… we occasionally, unfortunately, do have these issues and it’s something that we don’t approve of.
“Obviously, it’s something, unfortunately, we can’t control, and wouldn’t want to control,” the spokesperson said.
Boutin’s Twitter account was also set to private following the uproar of the race.
It is crazy what people will do and say if the person who they want to win does not. I wonder if the South Korean athlete who was bumped down for what she did is receiving the same threats.
What do you think, would you go this far if the person or team that you are rooting for doesn’t win?