French silver medalist apologises for comparing Brazilian crowd to Nazi Germany after defeat
Published 16/08/2016 | 09:17
Renaud Lavillenie made some very ill-advised remarks after losing his Olympic title last night.
The London 2012 gold medalist was 1/4 to repeat his win in the pole vault in Rio, but amazingly, Brazilian Thiago Braz Da Silva upset the Frenchman as he set a new Olympic record.
Lavillenie had to settle for a silver medal and was obviously unhappy with the behaviour of the partisan home crowd in the aftermath, comparing the raucous Brazilian fans to the Germans who booed Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
"In 1936, the crowd was against Jesse Owens. We've not see this since. We have to deal with it," he said in quotes reported by Sky Sports.
"Better to stay at home in front of your television than come and whistle. At least then we'd have people in the stadium who want to watch sport It really disturbed me, I felt the nastiness of the public and we do a sport where you never see that.
"I completely understand that the Brazilians are behind Thiago, that's totally normal. But what is not normal is the total lack of respect for the rivals. The least thing, if you don't like someone, is to ignore them, but not to insult them. Because I took that as an insult."
Many people took issue with Lavillenie's mention of Jesse Owens, and the Frenchman has since tweeted an apology for his 'bad comparison'.
"Yes, sorry for the bad comparaison I made," Lavillenie said.
"It was a hot reaction and I realize it was wrong. Sorry to everyone."