A controversial decision in the women’s figure skating final where Korea’s darling of the ice Kim Yu-na was awarded a silver medal instead of the gold has sent the Korean netizens once again on the Internet warpath.
More than 1.5 million angry fans flooded Change.org’s website since the decision and crashed the website after a user began a petition calling for a review of the judges’ scores.
‘The petition gained 700,000-plus signatures in just six hours and is sending traffic to our site at five times the highest previously-recorded rate,’ Change.org spokeswoman Charlotte Hill told AFP, while also commenting that 90 percent of the traffic is coming from South Korea.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has also felt the wrath of the Korean media with the Dong-A Ilbo referring to Russia as ‘the home turf score plus Putin’s score,’ according to Eurosport.
Kim, who was gracious in defeat, was looking to become only the third woman in history to repeat as champion.
South Korea has been no stranger to Olympic controversy since the 2002 Olympics:
– The forever infamous Kim Dong-sung and Apolo Anton Ohno short-track speedskating crash at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City sparked death threats against Ohno and Australian referee James Hewish, while angry netizens also bombarded the Olympic Committee’s email server which eventually crashed.
– In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, South Korean gymnast Yang Tae-young was initially awarded the male all-around Gold medal until the U.S. contested the scores. After protesting too late, the International Gymnastics Federation agreed with Yang and suspended the judges responsible but could not change the results.
– Hewish once again nullified South Korea’s 2010 Vancouver Olympics women’s 3,000 meter relay short track gold saying a South Korean skater impeded a Chinese skater with six laps remaining lifting the Chinese women to the gold medal, and a call for Korean citizens to boycott Australian products.
– Female South Korean fencer Shin A-lam had believed she had advanced to the gold medal round when the judge said the clock was incorrect and a second was added on to the time. After a timing mechanism on the piste became stuck, it gave her German opponent an extra second to complete her attack and win the bout, which earned her the spot in the gold medal bout, while Shin went on to lose the bronze.