That is Dutch speed skater Sjinkie Knegt standing next to his opponents Lim Hyo-jun of South Korea and Semen Elistratov of the Olympic Athletes of Russia, after taking home the men’s 1,500-meter silver medal. The race ended dramatically with Hyo-jun taking home the gold, but the real story of the race happened at the podium afterward.
After getting his silver medal, the Dutchman sparked some more controversy (we’ll get to that in a second) after he received his silver medal. People seem to believe that the photo taken above shows him slyly flipping the bird in the general direction of his opponents to the left.
Here’s a different angle to help you form your opinion.
Now from these photos, the middle finger doesn’t seem intentional. It clearly looks like he’s just holding that white teddy bear looking thing (pretty sure it’s the Olympic mascot?) and his big bird happens to be sticking out bit. Seems harmless, if you ask me.
The only problem is that the same guy in the photo did this at the 2014 Winter Olympics after finishing second.
Now the middle finger may not look so unintentional.
Because of this guy’s history, he was forced to respond to these middle finger allegations. He denied them, obviously.
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.
I can see why the Koreans are unconvinced. This is the same guy who gave us one of the all-time double-birds in history. What makes you think he would stop there? I’ll let the court of public opinion decide this one, but all I’m saying is you can’t put it past this guy to try and sneak one in.