A Korean skater sent the internet into a frenzy for his moves on the Olympic podium, but there was a more serious reason behind the fun dance.
South Korean athlete Kwak Yoon-gy took celebrations to the next level on the Olympic podium this year.
The short track skater, whose team won silverSwe in men’s 5000m relay, danced part of K-pop stars BTS’ routine to their song Dynamite.
The internet loved it and the unique celebration even caught the attention of BTS band member RM, who reposted the dance and wrote on Instagram: “Yoon Gy, I saw your good Dynamite.”
Kwak said he had done the dance to thank the pop star for his support during The Games.
“I’m a fan of BTS but I also felt that I wanted to repay RM however I could, for the support I received when I was having a rough time during the early stages of the Olympics,” he said, according to Koreaboo.
Those “rough times” involved an influx of hate on social media after speaking out about alleged pro-China judging.
In the men’s short track speed skating 1000m semi-finals, world record holder Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified for illegal late passing and lane-changing respectively, having coming first and second in their heats.
The decisions allowed two Chinese skaters to advance to the final, with the host country collecting gold and silver.
Kwak was livid at the officiating and spoke his mind after China won gold in the mixed team relay.
The host nation finished third in its semi-final but still advanced to the decider after Russia (ROC) and the USA were disqualified for obstruction and blocking, while South Korea was eliminated in a different race. Kwak said China should have been disqualified too.
“Looking at the way China won the gold medal, I felt bad that my younger teammates had to watch something like that,” Kwak said, per the Yonhap news agency.
“I thought to myself, ‘Is this really what winning a gold medal is all about?’ Things all just felt very hollow.
“I was watching that race unfold. I figured China, ROC and the US would get penalised. The Dutch skaters who were watching it with me said the same thing.
“But as the review dragged on, I figured China was going to be allowed to progress. And when the call was finally made, I found it difficult to accept it.
“If it had been any other country than China in that situation, I wondered if that team would still have been allowed to reach the final like that?
“I felt that could have been us at the wrong end of all this.
“I thought about how upsetting and frustrating it would have been if we’d been a part of that.”
Kwak’s criticism came as some speculated Chinese skater Ren Ziwei received favourable treatment in his clash with Liu Shaolin Sandor in the men’s 1000m final.
Ren appeared to grab Shaolin Sandor across the chest as they crossed the finish line, and the result went to review as officials checked for other penalties.
The Hungarian was ultimately disqualified but social media users pointed at photos of the tussle and questioned if Ren — who won gold — should have been penalised instead for initiating contact with his rival.