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Canadian speedskater gets social media threats after controversial race

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 14/02/2018 Aamer Madhani

Canadian speedskater Kim Boutin faced a barrage of social media harassment after claiming the bronze medal in Tuesday’s 500-meter short track competition.

Boutin initially placed fourth in the photo-finish final but was bumped up to the bronze medal spot after judge’s disqualified South Korea’s Choi Min-jeong for interference. Choi would have finished in the silver medal spot.

Bronze medalist Kim Boutin fights back tears during the medal ceremony for the Ladies' 500m Short Track Speed Skating in PyeongChang. © Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Bronze medalist Kim Boutin fights back tears during the medal ceremony for the Ladies' 500m Short Track Speed Skating in PyeongChang. The Canadian's Instagram was immediately flooded with thousands of angry and even menacing messages from those who thought Choi was wronged.

"Aren't you ashamed to have cheated in the last Olympic Games?" one person posted. "If I find you, you will die," another wrote. One poster simply commented with series of knife emojis.

Boutin has since made her social media accounts private.

“The health, safety and security of all our team members is our top priority and as such we are working closely with Speed Skating Canada, our security personnel and the RCMP,” Canada's Olympic Committee said in statement.

Fans of the South Korean skater on social media pointed out that Boutin also appeared to push Choi at one point in the finals.

“From the IOC’s point of view, none of us, fortunately or unfortunately, can control social media and the public has their right to say things,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “Clearly we’d ask everyone…to support the Olympic spirit.”

Canada’s Olympic Committee issued a statement that they looking into the harassing messages.

“The health, safety and security of all our team members is our top priority and as such we are working closely with Speed Skating Canada, our security personnel and the RCMP,” the committee said.

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