When you win a gold medal at the Olympics, there’s usually a good chance that you’ll carry your country’s flag in the closing ceremonies. But when you win the gold medal for partying, well, it turns out your country sends you home before the fat lady (or in this case, George Michael) sings. Belgian track cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke has been given an early ticket home after British tabloid The Mirror published a couple pictures of him passed-out and soaking-wet yesterday, under the headline “And the gold medal for partying goes to…Belgian cyclist looks worse for wear as he celebrates end of his Olympics.” Which begs the question, is the 20-year-old worse in Olympic competition (he finished 15th in the omnium) or at holding his liquor?
Mind you, if he’s a total lightweight in the drinking ring, he might have an excuse. The Mirror interviewed 2004 Olympic medalist Kelly Sotherton, who said “Some people have been working for eight years towards this and may not have had a drink this year. So once their event is over and they have a drink, they will be hammered. I think there will be a few ill people.” Case in point:
In any case, it seems the Belgian Olympic Committee was not amused. “The Belgian Olympic Committee and the Royal Cycling Federation deplore this incident, which fortunately did not affect life in the Olympic Village and athletes trying to rest ahead of their competition,” Reuters reports. Meanwhile, our party champ is apparently apologetic: “I made a big mistake. I’m happy my parents didn’t tell me off. They understand that I needed this,” a Belgian newspaper quoted him as saying. Wait, so he still lives with his parents, finished 15th out of 18 in his event, and will now forever be known for pissing himself in public? Looks like a real winner to me!