Jan Blokhuijsen
Jan Blokhuijsen turned pro in 2007. Getty Images

A Dutch speed skater apologized after he caused an uproar with comments he made regarding South Korea's dog meat consumption.

Jan Blokhuijsen, of the Netherlands, issued a statement Thursday after he criticized the Winter Olympics' host country.

"Please treat dogs better in this country," Blokhuijsen said during Wednesday's news conference after he and the Dutch team earned bronze medals in the men’s team pursuit speed skating match, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The gold medalist’s words went viral as many labeled him "racist and ignorant." Some South Koreans even suggested that officials report him to the International Olympic Committee.

Afterward, Blokhuijsen took to Twitter and apologized.

"I want to apologize to the Korean people. It was not my intention to insult you and your country. I care about the welfare of animals in general," Blokhuijsen tweeted. "And [I] hope we can make this a better place for both of us. I enjoy this Olympic Games and like to thank you for your hospitality."

Conversations surrounding the country and its dog meat consumption gained traction over the past two weeks during the Olympic games.

Reports and videos highlighting restaurants serving dog meat have surfaced as foreigners and media members traveled parts of Pyeongchang.

In a Feb. 12 article published by USA Today, reporters discovered a farm where dogs were locked in cages waiting to be slaughtered and distributed in the region of Wonju, a city in Gangwon province, just miles from the Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile, dog meat consumption reportedly declined as the younger generation strayed away from the longstanding tradition.

"South Koreans are actually going through a cultural shift in terms of what they eat -- it's a much more globalized diet than it used to be,", former foreign correspondent Jean Lee told ESPN.

"Younger South Koreans are not eating dog meat nearly as much so, one by one, these dog meats shops are closing down."