Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque on Thursday said she wishes she hadn't taken off her silver medal almost immediately after it was placed around her neck at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Larocque issued a statement through Team Canada apologizing to the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and her teammates and fans.
She says her emotions got the best of her Thursday after a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States and she meant no disrespect. Larocque says she takes being a role model and representing Canada seriously and is truly sorry that her actions did not represent her values or those of her family and team.
Shortly after Larocque removed the medal, she told reporters that, “It’s just hard. You work so hard. We wanted gold but didn’t get it.”
Larocque was swiftly criticized on social media for what appeared to some as unsportsman-like conduct.
"Poor sportsmanship," one woman posted on Twitter. "You can’t win every time. Wait until you’re off the ice to be bitter and salty."
Others on social media let the move slide and said it was just her competitive spirit.
The general manager of Canada's national team programs says they expect professionalism and sportsmanship from their players.
The Associated Press contributed to this report