After winning the previous four gold titles in women’s Olympic hockey, the Canadian team fell to the Americans in a shootout, losing out on that fifth gold by a score of 3-2 in the final. It was a disappointing blow to the team and the 36 million Canadians back home, but no one showed it more than defender Jocelyne Larocque at the medal ceremony. When that silver medal was placed around her neck, she immediately whipped it back off and stood holding it in one hand sullenly for the rest of the event. We get that silver in hockey is barely a consolation prize for a Canadian, but that’s not cool.
NBC Olympics — who was obviously a little salty that the Canadians weren’t taking the loss well — tweeted their coverage of the event and the moment quickly went viral. Americans were offended. Canadians were offended. Americans were angry. Canadians were understanding. There seemed to be no limit to the number of opinions out there.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018
She won a gold medal 4 years ago. Willing to bet no one on the US team already has an Olympic gold medal in their closet at home. Childish and disappointing.
— Smartshoes (@CrochetDVM) 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
@HC_Women very disappointed in Jocelyne Larocque’s display of incredibly un-Canadian sportsmanship and being a poor loser. Taking off her medal immediately after being presented with it.
— LeslieAnneO (@LeslieAnneOsh) February 22, 2018
Some Canadians were supportive of Larocque, who was part of the gold-winning team at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. They noted that while for some Olympic sports, silver is for the second-best competitor, silver in hockey goes to the team who loses. True, but you did a lot of winning to even get that far.
“you win a gold or a bronze medal, but you do not win a silver. you get it.” if your dumbass doesn’t get why Jocelyne Larocque (Gold medalist in Sochi) took off the silver medal.
— emzers 🍰 (@jeongguksjimin) February 22, 2018
Feeling a bit sorry for Jocelyne Larocque. OK, it wasn’t the best idea to do that but in the final of a team sport like Ice hockey, you don’t win a silver medal, you get handed it because you lost. She was clearly crushed at the defeat. #USAvCAN #Olympics #TeamCanada #USA
— Dougie Brimson (@dougiebrimson) February 22, 2018
Jocelyne Larocque taking the sliver medal off isn’t the right thing to do on the surface but to cast judgment on a player who just lost a gold medal game is silly It was a raw emotional reaction. In six months she will likely appreciate the medal more. I respect the honesty.
— Dave Campbell (@Dave_CHED) February 22, 2018
“That’s OK. I don’t mind that, at all … You gotta cut her some slack” – Don Cherry, on Jocelyne Larocque for not wearing her silver medal.
— SeanFitz_Gerald (@SeanFitz_Gerald) February 23, 2018
Friday morning, Larocque apologized to the IOC, her team and the Canadians back home for her emotion-fueled lapse in judgement. She said in a statement that she “meant no disrespect” but “let her emotions get the better of [her].”
“For all the fans young and old, please understand this was a moment in time I truly wish I could take back,” she wrote, “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.”
— Kristina Rutherford (@KrRutherford) February 23, 2018
For the most part, it seems Canadians are accepting the apology — and acknowledging how stereotypically Canadian it was issue one.
She’s Canadian. We apologize. There’s nothing wrong with that. I understand the disappointment, but it is an honour to represent your country on the world stage. A show of petulance wasn’t worthy of her. I’m proud of her for expressing regret.
— Mary Lou George (@marylougeorge2) February 23, 2018
Can we please stop being so Canadian! Nothing to be #Sorry about! 🇨🇦 proud.
⚡ “Jocelyne Larocque sorry for taking off her silver medal”https://t.co/m7o8VFFfrn
— ⬆⏹▶▶ (@iamToddyTickles) February 23, 2018
Please accept Jocelyne Larocque apology. She let her emotions take over her values and her actions didn’t demonstrate the values of the #CanadianWomensHockey Team, Canada, her or her family’s. She regrets her reaction and would take it back if she could
— Michelle Belieber (@MichelleCaissi1) February 23, 2018
That was a perfect apology, taking responsibility and recognizing how her expressed disappointment affected others – absolute kudos to Larocque.
— Leobuttons (@leobuttons) February 23, 2018