AUSTRALIAN short track referee Jim Hewish is under police protection in Vancouver..
Hewishr raised the ire of the Korean speedskating team and its fans by disqualifying its women's 3000m relay on Thursday.
A bomb threat was made by a disgruntled fan against the Australian embassy in Seoul the next day but was later described as a hoax. However it is understood that threats have also been made against Hewish personally and his house in Sydney has been placed under guard.
Yes, there was a bomb threat made to the Australian embassy in Seoul:
Major Korean internet news website Joins.com reported the embassy was searched for 40 minutes and five staff were evacuated.
Officials at the embassy confirmed the incident with AAP, a staff member saying it turned out to be a hoax but "Korean authorities responded very quickly and it was resolved".
Joins.com reported Kim was angry that Australian short track speed-skating judge Jim Hewish had disqualified the Korean team from the women's 3000m relay final after their last skater crossed the line first on Wednesday (Vancouver time).
Hewish was the referee who disqualified Kim Dong-sung in 2002, a decision that gave Ohno the gold, and the Korean coach was prepared for that:
"Before the race, I told the players to be careful because the chief referee was the same one who disqualified Kim Dong-sung (at the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002). But it happened again,'' Choi said.
Some Korean netizens called for a boycott of Australian products and put up contact information to the Australian Amateur Ice Racing Council, believing, like they did in the aftermath of their 2006 World Cup loss, that a large number of protest letters would force a rematch. Others posted Hewish's address, including a map to his house
This latest news come via commenter ElCanguro on a Marmot's Hole on The Marmot's Hole, and a follow-up Marmot's Hole post, and he wrote on my site:
I wonder if the netizens realise that they've blown any chances of Pyeongchang getting the winter Olympics anytime soon or Korea getting the 2022 World Cup with their childish, passive-aggressive displays behind the computer.
Indeed, there is a disturbing trend of Korean threats and overreaction to perceived slights in international competition. A Korean commenter on my post yesterday wrote:
There is always e-mail threatening after any events (sports, business closing tables, and etc). But many times, I see some of those threatening pictures as the expression and voice of anger, requesting, and asking for the justice. I see this kinds of threatening everywhere; some are small and some are big. With these kinds of expression of media or posts should be viewed as voices instead of annoying things.
Rather than appreciating "asking for the justice," I suspect event organizers will be alarmed that their officials are subject to threats and violence should a decision go against Korea. I've had to write countless times that no, the actions of these enthusiastic netizens are not representative of all Koreans, but it should be the responsibility of Koreans as a whole to preach against these outbursts and go through the proper channels to find "justice," if they continue to feel listening to a referee's decision is unjust or an improper channel. Then again, when we see how Korean lawmakers express themselves in the National Assembly when they feel slighted, there might be issues larger than simply sports.
A small collection of netizen artwork found on blogs and messageboards.