After the disqualification of a female athlete who was headed toward a gold medal and could literally kick the snot out of most of us in real life, hackers attacked and it turned into an online fight of digital kung-fu.
At the Asian Games held in China, Yang Shu-Chun was winning the taekwondo semi-final by 9-0. Her victory seemed a sure thing. But a referee suddenly ended the game, accused Yang of misplacing electronic sensors in her foot guards and removed her from the ring.
Some online chatter claims it is a conspiracy that disqualified Yang before she reached the gold medal race. China's contestant will now supposedly face a much weaker opponent in the gold-medal round.
Here's a little background about the socks (sockgate) in any official taekwondo game, according to WTF rules. All checks are made before the game begins and Yang's equipment was examined and passed prior to the fight. This included checking the electronic sensors in her foot guards. These sensors were introduced to make judging fairer by detecting when a taekwondo competitor scores a point by landing a kick on their opponent. Kicking Yang from the competition and "taking" her medal over these electronic socks turned into a major uproar.
TechBang reported that the Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU) further ticked off the Taiwanese by publishing an article on its official website that criticized the Taiwan team for its "shocking act of deception."
Hackers, allegedly from Taiwan, attacked the ATU website to display a middle finger flipped upward between the national flags of South Korea and the People's Republic of China. The defaced website also had messages that said, "we all Taiwanese," "shame on you," and demanded that the ATU "give our gold medal back."
TechBang posted a screenshot of the hacked ATU website before the message was taken down. The hacked site also showed a video that allegedly uncovered the "truth" behind the controversy and conspiracy that disqualified Yang. The video showed Yang removing extra sensors on her foot guards and giving them to her coach before the competition.
According to Taipei Times, ATU said their site went down "because of excessive traffic" and "remains paralyzed today for unknown reasons." ATU's "shocking act of deception" website statement was labeled as "inappropriate" by a South Korea-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) official.
Hanopolis reported Yang's statement, "I brought two pairs of WTF-certified socks with me. The Chinese examiner asked me to scrap the first pair, but the second pair passed the examination." Angry Taiwanese fans and politicians called for a boycott of Korean products. Protest rallies, Korean flag burnings, and a Facebook campaign were launched for the disqualified athlete.
Taiwan's government demanded an apology for ATU's statement and claimed the disqualification was unjust. ATU taekwondo chiefs apologized for calling "Taiwan's Yang Shu-chun a cheat" after she was disqualified at the Asian Games for wearing "illegal super socks," a Straits Time report said.
China said the disqualification was "regretful" but WTF will not hold a full inquiry until after Asian games are over.