December 6, 2019

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Opinion

Ste. Anne hockey star sorry for medal removal

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)</p><p>Jocelyne Larocque of Canada, third from left, holds her silver medal after losing to the United States in the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday.</p>

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Jocelyne Larocque of Canada, third from left, holds her silver medal after losing to the United States in the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ste. Anne’s Jocelyne Larocque has apologized for removing her silver medal during the medal ceremony that immediately followed Canada’s 3-2 shootout loss to the United States on Thursday in the gold-medal game of the women’s hockey event here at the 2018 Winter Olympics

"My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family and for that I am truly sorry," the Team Canada defenceman said in a statement released Friday afternoon (Korea time).

"For all fans, young and old, please understand this was a moment in time that I truly wish I could take back."

Hockey Canada GM Melody Davidson also issued a statement concerning the incident.

"I have spoken with Jocelyne and know that she did not mean to be disrespectful," said Davidson. "She is very remorseful and takes responsibility for her error. 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."

Larocque, who previously won gold in Sochi with Team Canada, was slammed on social media after she was captured by television cameras removing her medal immediately after it had been placed around her neck.

Asked about it by reporters after the game, she didn’t apologize for her actions

"It was just hard. I mean we were going for gold and I’m proud of this whole team, but we were chasing that gold medal," Larocque said after the game.

But that was before Larocque was chastised for her actions, first in person by an official with the International Ice Hockey Federation and then online by many hockey fans — including plenty of Canadians — who felt it was a poor display of sportstmanship.

Here’s the full text of Larocque’s statement released by Hockey Canada:

"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. 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. 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. For all 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. My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family live and for that I am truly sorry."

Here’s the full text of Davidson’s statement:

"I have spoken with Jocelyne and know that she did not mean to be disrespectful. She is very remorseful and takes responsibility for her error. 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. I would like to congratulate the United States on their victory. It was a great game, and both teams put forward a gold-medal effort and demonstrated what incredible competition the women’s game is on an international scale. I’m proud of our team and the work all of the players and staff have put in throughout this journey. There is no prouder opportunity in sport than to be able to win a medal for your country and our entire team is appreciative of the opportunity to represent Canada."

email: paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @PaulWiecek

 

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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History

Updated on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 6:10 AM CST: Corrects spelling of Ste. Anne

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