A Canadian commentator caused quite a stir last night following his comments regarding a 14-year-old swimmer, who he described had 'died like a pig' during her length of a relay race.
Byron MacDonald, a commentator for Canadian channel CBC, was working on the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay final yesterday, and after the young teenager from China failed to keep her team's medal hopes alive, he was quick to make a remark thinking his microphone was turned off.
China were competing with Canada for a bronze medal after USA and Australia finished first and second respectively, and during 14-year-old Ai Yanhan's leg, the Chinese team fell away and eventually finished fourth.
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Yanhan swam her leg 1.61 seconds slower than Canada’s Taylor Ruck, and that allowed the Canadian team to close the gap and eventually edge out China to the bronze medal.
After the race and thinking his microphone was off, MacDonald then commented on the 14-year-old's performance and said she dropped the ball after being too excited.
He's heard saying: "The little 14-year-old from China dropped the ball, baby. Too excited, went out like stink, died like a pig. Thanks for that.”
MacDonald himself was an Olympic swimmer and competed back in the 1972 games, and is now a swimming coach at the University of Toronto, but his comments have caused an outcry on social media putting himself and CBC as a channel in the spotlight.
He later apologised for his comments and insisted he meant no disrespect, but that apology came after hundreds of tweets were sent out aimed at him for being too harsh on the young Chinese swimmer.
Following the incident, Chuck Thompson, a CBC spokesman said in a statement: "We sincerely regret that these statements were made, and that they were allowed to go to air.
"To be clear, Byron’s comments were related to the swimmer’s performance, not to her as an individual.
"That said, they were inappropriate and an unfortunate choice of words and Byron is very sorry for what he said.”