Chinese Olympic gold medalist condemns 'malicious' online abuse | Inquirer Sports

Chinese Olympic gold medalist condemns ‘malicious’ online abuse

/ 09:47 PM December 14, 2023

China's Xiaojun Lin.

FILE–China’s Xiaojun Lin. (Photo by Vincent Jannink / ANP / AFP)

An Olympic and world champion short track speed skater said he was “very angry” and “deeply hurt” after suffering online abuse following a collision with a Chinese teammate during a race.

Lin Xiaojun and Liu Shaoang were leading when they collided during a World Cup men’s 500m final in Beijing at the weekend.

Lin, who won gold in the 1500m at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics while competing for South Korea and is a multiple world champion, said he was subsequently abused online.

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“In the past few days I have seen that some social media accounts frequently post very unfriendly or even malicious comments,” the South Korean-born Lin, 27, wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo.

“These comments not only hurt my team-mates, coaches and other staff, but also deeply hurt me, seriously affecting our training and life.”

Lin, previously known as Lim Hyo-jun until switching to China, added: “These insults make me very angry and sad, and I strongly dislike such behaviour.”

The abusive posts appeared to have been removed on Wednesday.

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Lin is just the latest athlete to be targeted online by disgruntled Chinese sports fans.

Basketball great Yao Ming last month said criticism of the men’s team had gone too far after some players were abused following a series of disappointing results.

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“Some criticism on technique and tactics is welcome,” said Yao, an eight-time NBA All-Star and now president of the Chinese Basketball Association.

“But some things have gone beyond basketball and we don’t agree with that.”

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