A DUTCH speed skater has maddened South Koreans after making a comment regarding the East Asian country’s consumption of dog meat on Wednesday.
During a press conference after the Netherlands was awarded a bronze medal in the men’s team pursuit at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Jan Blokhuijsen said: “please treat dogs better in this country”, referring to the Korean tradition of eating canine meat.
The remark drew “fury” from the South Korean public, reported the country’s state Yonhap news agency, with netizens accusing him of racism and some suggesting Blokhuijsen should be reported to the International Olympic Committee.
While dog meat has been consumed in Korea for centuries, only a small percentage of its population eats it today.
The bronze medallist later apologised via his official Twitter page, stating that he had not intended to insult South Korea. “I care about the welfare of animals,” he said.
I want to apologize to the korean people. It was not my intention to insult you and your country. I care about the wellfare of animals 1/2
— Jan Blokhuijsen (@janblokhuijsen) February 22, 2018
“In general and hope we can make this a better place for both of us I enjoy this Olympic Games and like to thank you for your hospitality,” he added.
The Winter Games run in Pyeongchang until Feb 25.