LINDSEY Vonn’s dad probably wants his daughter to be a bit more like Canadian ice hockey star Jocelyne Larocque.
After Vonn won bronze in the women’s downhill ski program this week, her old man Alan Kildow wasn’t too impressed.
“It’s great skiing, but it reminds me of something that (US skier) Buddy Werner used to say,” Kildow told USA Today Sports. “He said there’s two places in the race, first and last, and I only want one of them.”
No one who saw Larocque epitomise the definition of human misery on Thursday can argue she’s not from the same school as Werner.
She was a broken woman after her side lost the women’s ice hockey final to the USA in what immediately became an Olympic classic to rival the Miracle on Ice at the Winter Olympics in New York nearly 40 years ago.
The Americans took a 1-0 lead in PyeongChang but lost their way as Canada went up 2-1. The women with the maple leaf on the front of their jerseys couldn’t maintain the advantage though as the US squared the ledger to send the game into overtime and ultimately, a penalty shootout which it won 3-2.
The victory saw America exact revenge for its loss to Canada in the corresponding fixture in Sochi four years ago — but clearly Larocque doesn’t believe in sharing.
Lining up alongside her teammates on the ice to receive their silver medals — many of them crying over the heartbreaking defeat — Larocque couldn’t handle being told she was second best. Immediately after an official placed her bling on her neck, she yanked it right off, still in tears.
It brought back memories of McKayla Maroney, who became a worldwide sensation for being the saddest silver medallist ever seen at the 2012 London Games.
“(It was) just hard,” Larocque said of her response. “We were going for gold.”
The medal didn’t stay off for long, though. Per The Globe and Mail, an official from the International Ice Hockey Federation forced her to wear it because of a “legal” reason.
All the Canadians were upset but Larocque — who was part of the 2014 gold medal-winning team — took it harder than most. Officials might not have understood her actions, but Canadian coach Laura Schuler did.
“For sure (I can empathise),” Schuler said. “You feel like you’ve let a country down.”
Larocque’s emotional rejection sparked plenty of reaction, with some suggesting it was a classless display of poor sportsmanship from the 29-year-old.
But others were far more forgiving, arguing you don’t “win” silver in ice hockey, you “lose” gold.
The Chicago Tribune’s Kevin Williams stood up for Larocque, saying her reaction was “pure”.
“We forget what sport at that rarefied, Olympic level is: Athletes who are at the peak of their fitness train for their whole lives. They sweat, strain, lift, deal with injury and pain, go through agony so that when the moment comes, they will be physically and mentally strong enough to get the job done, to win the war. It isn’t pretty, it isn’t friendly. It’s nasty, and it is supposed to be,” Williams wrote.
“When at the end of all that, someone gives you the glittering symbol of your failure, what are you supposed to do?
“Larocque’s was the expression of a proud, strong athlete.
“Our athletes aren’t perfect. They’re human. Disappointment and failure brings out the worst in us. Why? They lost. It hurts.
“That silver medal must have burned as it would a vampire, as it would a champion.”