|Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands, left, stands next to Lim Hyo-jun of South Korea, center, and Semion Andreyevich Elistratov of Russia (OAR) after the men's 1,500-meter final at Gangneung Ice Arena, Saturday. / Yonhap|
By Jung Min-ho
Dutch short-track speed skater Sjinkie Knegt has been caught up in a controversy over photos in which he appears to stick his middle finger up, after coming second at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
The photos were taken Saturday after South Korean Lim Hyo-jun won his country's first gold medal in the men's 1,500-meter final at Gangneung Ice Arena by just 0.07 seconds.
During the medal ceremony the next day, Knegt addressed the issue.
He said, "It looked like I put up the middle finger. It's not intended … I just looked very bad in the photo, but it was not on purpose. I was just holding the medal."
Many Koreans remain unconvinced, given that he has been involved in a similar controversy.
In 2014, Knegt raised both his middle fingers in the direction of Viktor Ahn after Russia won the men's 5,000-meter relay final at the ISU European Championship in Dresden. Knegt was later disqualified.
Since the issue came to the fore in Korea, host country for the Winter Olympics, many Koreans have left complaints on his Instagram and Twitter accounts with controversial pictures of him.