Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Canadian women's hockey player Jocelyne Larocque issued a statement, apologizing for taking off her silver medal after a gold medal match loss to Team USA.
Larocque was spotted by NBC cameras on Thursday, ripping off the medal during the presentation ceremony, less than a second after it was put around her neck. The move drew criticism on social media.
She was later asked to put the medal back on by an official from the International Ice Hockey Federation. Larocque obliged and later said it was "hard" to wear the medal because the Canadians were going for gold.
"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," Larocque said in the statement, according to Sportsnet.
"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 honor 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."
Larocque was part of Team Canada's gold medal winning squad at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2011.