Canadian short-track speed skater Kim Boutin has been forced to make her social media accounts private after receiving death threats from furious Korean fans at the Winter Olympics. Numerous thousands of reactions blasted Boutin for getting the bronze medal, but plenty more tried to implore people to recognize the Olympic spirit of unity.
Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Quebec, has won Canada's ninth medal for Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
The Quebec athlete finished fourth on Tuesday, but was bumped into third place when judges disqualified South Korea's Choi Min-jeong, who finished second in the race, for interfering with Italy's Arianna Fontana and Boutin.
Following her win, Boutin's social media accounts were bombarded by apparent angry South Korean fans, some threatening the speedskater with her life.
However, many other South Koreans apologized to Boutin for the conduct of some of their compatriots, sending her messages of support.
The bronze medal for Boutin was significant when you consider the fact that gold medal favourite Marianne St-Gelais of Roberval, Quebec was disqualified from the quarterfinals for interference.
"We're not in control, nor should we be, of social media and unfortunately these incidents do come up from time to time". All we can do is say let's concentrate on what was a great performance and congratulations by the way to Canada for the bronze medal.
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams added: "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... we occasionally, unfortunately, do have these issues and it's something that we don't approve of".
Boutin's father told Radio Canada that Speed Skating Canada has called to inform him the RCMP, Canadian Olympic Committee and the sport federation were looking into the matter. "I was there last night and it was pretty unbelievable".
"Anything that comes up, whether it's a fan that's continually coming to them or reporters continually asking for interview or whatever, they just chat with Morgan", said Davidson.