Renaud Lavillenie.

Renaud Lavillenie brought to tears after fans boo him on medal podium

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Receiving a medal at the Olympic games is supposed to be the highlight of any athlete's professional career but, for French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, that didn't appear to be the case on Tuesday night.

That's after Lavillenie, collecting his silver medal last night, was left in tears after being mercilessly booed by the partisan Brazilian crowd in Rio - predominantly because he had been competing against home favourite Thiago Braz.

The shocking scenes - which echoed the actual event itself where Lavillenie was also booed - were widely condemned by prominent members of the athletics community, from USA legend Michael Johnson to Olympics chief Thomas Bach. Lavillenie himself took to Twitter afterwards to express his shock at his treatment.


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Posting a message to his official account not long after being visibly emotional on the podium, the Frenchman was left speechless.

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Bach, meanwhile, condemned the disappointing scenes inside the Olympic Stadium

As seen in one of the photos uploaded by Lavillenie, his Brazilian rival, Thiago Braz, did try to console the silver medal winner in the aftermath of the ceremony. Even as the French pole vaulter was collecting his medal, Braz had tried to ask the fans to stop their boos.


Although Lavillenie would have hoped for a positive reaction when receiving his medal, he may have expected some sort of negative response from the crowd after events over the last few days.

The 29-year-old was also booed as he went up against Braz in the pole vault final itself earlier this week. 

Reacting to the unusual circumstances, Lavillenie then lashed out by claiming his treatment was reminiscent of how Nazi Germany responded to African-American athlete Jessie Owens during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

He had apologised for those comments, but it doesn't look like the Brazilian crowd are willing to forgive him - either for his remarks, or simply for competing against one of their star athletes.

Whatever the circumstances, it was heartbreaking to see an athlete berated like Lavillenie was whilst standing on the podium. Let's hope that is the last time that happens at these, or any other, games.

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