'My emotions got the better of me': Jocelyne Larocque apologizes for taking off silver medal

Whether you say Canada's women's hockey team lost the gold or won the silver Olympic medal, it was undeniably an emotional outcome, with Jocelyn Larocque releasing a statement Friday to clarify her actions immediately following the shootout loss.

Ste. Anne, Man. D-liner removed medal but held it in in her hand

Canadian players Brigette Lacquette and Jocelyne Larocque are both emotional after the final Olympics Game. 0:19

A Canadian Olympian has apologized after taking off her silver medal during the medal ceremony following the women's hockey team's shootout loss to their U.S. rivals.

​"I want to apologize," Jocelyne Larocque said in a statement released Friday from the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. "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."

The Ste. Anne, Man. defenceman said she takes being a role model to young girls and hockey fans seriously, and that she was proud of her team's efforts.

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

The Olympic women's team general manager said Larocque did not mean to be disrespectful. 

"She is very remorseful and takes responsibility for her error," said Melody Davidson in the statement. "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." 

Davidson also congratulated the United States on their gold. 

Uncle wants people to be fair

The player took some heat online for her actions but her uncle, Norm Larocque, said the criticism wasn't completely fair.

"At that point, when you know, you're completely exhausted, emotionally exhausted, it's not what she wanted around her neck," he told CBC's Up To Speed on Thursday. 

Jocelyne Larocque, (3), of Canada, 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. (Matt Slocum/The Associated Press)

Larocque at that point hadn't spoken to his niece since the outcome — Thursday afternoon in Manitoba was still the very early morning in Pyeongchang, South Korea — but said knowing her, she didn't mean to cause a stir. 

"I'm sure that she's probably going to apologize for doing that if it offended everybody," he said. "I'm 100 per cent positive she didn't want to offend anybody by doing that. It was just an emotional reaction, I'm 100 per cent sure of that," he said. 

"I probably think that Jocelyne was more disappointed for [fellow Ste. Anne, Man. player] Bailey [Bram] not getting the gold than that she had silver."

Jocelyne has had to deal with defeat at the hands of the Americans' hands at different world competitions, her uncle says. 

"She didn't refuse the medal. She put it around her neck and when they left, took it off and held it in her hand. So I don't know, maybe that goes against Olympic rules and she wasn't aware of it, or was too emotional at the time."

Meanwhile, other fans took to Twitter after the outcome to congratulate Larocque for wearing her heart on her sleeve.

This certainly isn't the first time an emotional reaction has led to medal drama. 

Just over a month ago, Team Sweden's captain threw his medal into crowd after losing gold to Canada at the world juniors.
 


Full statement from Jocelyne Larocque: 

"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."

With files from The Canadian Press