When it comes to Olympic hockey, Canada has a thing for gold.
Silver medals? Yuck. So very yuck, in fact, that, after the U.S. women’s team scored an epic, gold medal-clinching, 3-2 shootout victory over their chief rival Thursday in the PyeongChang Games, one Canadian player could not chuck her cootie-laden silver medal quickly enough. No sooner had the silver medal nestled onto the chest of the dejected Jocelyne Larocque than she removed it, as if to say, “Don’t get too comfortable there.”
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018
Laroque subsequently issued an apology for her act, saying, “In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me.”
“I meant no disrespect — it has been an honour to represent my country and win a medal for Canada,” Larocque said in a statement. “I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games.
“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.”
Prior to her apology, Laroque had said (via the Associated Press), “It’s just hard. You work so hard. We wanted gold but didn’t get it.”
At some point, she admitted at the time, she would look differently on winning silver.
“I mean, yeah, once we reflect,” she said. “But now, not at the moment.”
Larocque, who was on Canada’s gold medal-winning team four years ago in Sochi, and many of her teammates openly wept after the loss. Our neighbors to the north had won gold in the previous four Olympic Games — three times by beating the Americans — so you can perhaps understand their disappointment. Even as American fans in the stands shouted “Put your medal on!” at her, Larocque could and would not for about 30 minutes after the game.
Then, the Globe and Mail reported, “a man in a suit” (from the International Ice Hockey Federation) explained that there were “legal” reasons she could not refuse to wear it. Larocque nodded as she spoke with the IIHF official, according to the Globe and Mail, and then she walked off, with no clarity on her medal’s future.
As that drama was unfolding, Larocque was drawing plenty of social-media attention (both pro and con) for her “silver shmilver” stance.
#JocelyneLarocque you are an embarrassment to Canada and Manitoba not even wearing your silver medal. Ripped it off once it was put on. Maybe you should concentrate on less turnovers instead of embarrassing your province and country
— Bobbyorama (@BobbyBoucher204) February 22, 2018
Jocelyne Larocque getting her silver medal. pic.twitter.com/doxd4TYWxf
— Jimmy Edwards (@JimmyEdwards_15) February 22, 2018
Tough loss for Canada, but this made my night. I think Jocelyne Larocque just became my favorite female hockey player.#USAvsCAN #PyeongChang2018 #Olympics #Hockey #OlympicHockey #CAN #TeamCanada #JocelyneLarocque #BadAss pic.twitter.com/dhqA0Qqa5A
— Jacob Prusia (@JPrusia) February 22, 2018
If I was Canadian I would be proud to have her representing my country. She was obviously raised to be a winner and not be happy with 2nd place. This is what competition is all about. You play to win not just compete. #JocelyneLarocque
— Chris B (@StarsPatriots) February 22, 2018
#canadianwomenshockey what a classy bunch of girls to stand with your silver medal around your neck and showed pride for our country…except for #jocelyneLarocque that was shameful to our girls and the way you played tonight you didn't deserve to stand with our team
— Terri & kyle (@tkverhulst) February 22, 2018
So Jocelyne Larocque Of The Canadian female Olympic hockey team is a #PoorSport! You taking off your silver metal as soon as they put it on you is really good for the kids that look up to you. You should be showing them good sportsmanship!!! #USA #Gold
— Jon J. (Yawn) (@NintendoLocoFan) February 22, 2018
For those of you confused as to why Canadian women's hockey player Jocelyne Larocque took off the silver medal, allow me to explain…
You win a gold or a bronze medal, but you do not win a silver. You get it.
— John Brubaker (@CoachBru) February 22, 2018
We played a great game and silver is nothing to turn your nose up at. Disappointed in Laroque for taking off her medal the second it was put on. Poor sportsmanship and a very unCanadian move.
— Bryony (@ladylovewell) February 22, 2018
Laroque, or who ever you are… not cool! You worked hard to get where you are at. Be honoured… Be humble. There are women who would kill to be in a silver standing at the Olympics. #USAvsCAN #poorsport #thatsnotCanadian #cantwinthemall
— Danielle Marie (@Dani_geo) February 22, 2018
Ok I understand the emotion but I don't agree with Laroque removing her Silver medal. You win with class and lose with class and that was disrespectful to the sport. #TeamCanada
— Ryan McDonald (@RyanMcDonald83) February 22, 2018
Show of Poor sportsmanship by Jocelyne Larocque who refused to wear her silver medal after last nights @HC_Women game. That’s not who we are, Jocelyne. We’re Canadians. Even in defeat. We didn’t lose gold. We won Silver. Be proud. #TeamCanada #PyongChang2018
— christine woodcock (@genealogytours) February 22, 2018
Of course larocque took her silver medal off.. at that level a silver is like a participation medal. Not like she tossed it in the stands
— carly critch (@critcher_1) February 22, 2018
“For all fans, young and old, please understand this was a moment in time that I truly wish I could take back,” Laroque said in her apology. “I take seriously being a role model to young girls and representing our country.
“My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family live and for that I am truly sorry.”
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