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Canada's Kim Boutin subjected to online threats after winning short-track bronze

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 5 days ago CBC/Radio-Canada
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(Provided by CBC)

Short track speed skater Kim Boutin, who won bronze in the 500-metre final Tuesday at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, has been subjected to threatening messages on social media from angry supporters of a South Korean skater. 

They're furious with the Quebec athlete after Choi Min-jeong was disqualified from the race for interference after originally finishing second.  

Kim Boutin wins short track gold at World Cup in Shanghai: Short track speed skater Kim Boutin won bronze in the 500-metre final Tuesday at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. © Graham Hughes/Canadian Press Short track speed skater Kim Boutin won bronze in the 500-metre final Tuesday at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. After the event, photos that Boutin published months ago received thousands of comments, many of them abusive. 

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Boutin's father, Pierre Boutin, told Radio-Canada that Speed Skating Canada had telephoned him to say the situation was being handled jointly by the RCMP, Canadian Olympic Committee and the sport federation.

Some of the comments include:

  • "Aren't you ashamed to have cheated in the last Olympic Games?"
  • "You're not a real athlete!"
  • "You know what? You should be disqualified. Shame on you!"
  • "If I find you, you will die."
  • "Retire and I hope you have a hard life."
Canada's Kim Boutin subjected to online threats after winning short-track bronze: <p style="margin-bottom:1em;padding:0px 0.2em;font-size:13px;">After the event, photos that Boutin published months ago received thousands of comments, many of them abusive.&nbsp;</p> © @kim.boutin/Instagram

After the event, photos that Boutin published months ago received thousands of comments, many of them abusive. 

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Many Korean users condemned the negative comments. The majority of the comments written in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, instead blamed the referee, rather than Boutin, for the incident.

"Everybody, please, it's the referee who should be insulted. The athlete did nothing wrong," wrote one.

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"As a Korean, I am very sad that some people would have left these messages. They're very sensitive right now. Please, forget all of this and enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games. I am so sorry," wrote another.

The skater, who is from Sherbooke, Que., has since shut down her social media accounts.

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She competes again on Saturday in the 1,500. Three days later, she'll race in the 3,000 relay final and the qualification round of the 1,000. 

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