Booing fans reduce Lavillenie to tears

Booing fans reduce Lavillenie to tears

Booing fans reduce Lavillenie to tears

Pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie was booed again by the Brazilian crowd on Tuesday during the victory ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, reducing the Frenchman to tears.

Lavillenie was booed during the pole vault final, with the fans firmly rooting for the home favourite Thiago Braz da Silva. The Brazilian went on to win the gold while Lavillenie slammed the crowd behaviour, saying it was not ideal at a track and field venue.

On Tuesday, the fans were at it again, this time booing the Frenchman on the podiu­m, where he received his silv­er medal. Da Silva raised his hands in an appeal to the cro­wd to calm down as tears rol­led down the Frenchman’s cheeks.

The fan reaction forced the International Olympic Committee President to step in, calling it “shocking.” “Shocking behaviour for the crowd to boo Renaud Lavillenie on the podium. Unacceptable at the Olympics,” a tweet by the International Olympic Committee on behalf of Bach said.

Lavillenie was later consoled by Da Silva and pole vault legend Sergei Bubka, a vice-president of the IOC.

During the evening programme at the Olympic Stadium, repeated announcements were made on behalf of the IAAF and the organising committee to respect all the athletes.

Lavillenie had earned the wrath of the fans after criticising their behaviour during the final. “In 1936, the crowd was against Jesse Owens. We have not seen it since, we have to deal with it,” Lavillenie had said after his defeat to Da Silva. “Better stay at home and watch in television than come and whistle.

“At least you will then have people at the stadium who want to watch sport.”
Lavillenie, the 2012 Oly­mpic champion, later apologised for the Owens’ remark, saying he had made it in the heat of the moment. He still termed the Brazilian behaviour as an ‘insult,’ saying he had never experienced something like that in his career.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox