A British Boxer was so upset that he won the silver medal at the Olympics in Tokyo that he refused to wear his medal and cried while standing on the podium.
Ben Whittaker was defeated on Tuesday by Arlen Lopez from Cuba, by way of a split decision in the light-heavyweight gold-medal bout. The twenty-four-year-old subsequently came second, winning silver.
After the loss, Team GB fighter Ben Whittaker collected his silver medal. However, he didn’t wear it proudly around his neck as most athletes do. Instead, he stuffed it into his pocket and joined Lopez and the joint bronze medalists, Imam Khataev and Loren Alfonso, on the podium.
He can be briefly seen taking the medal out of his pocket to pose for photographs but he refused to wear it as tears cascaded down his cheeks.
When asked about why he chose to snub his prize, a visibly upset Whittaker told the BBC: “You don’t win silver. You lose gold. I’m very disappointed. I feel like a failure.
“You’re in this game to win gold, not to win silver. I’m very upset. This feeling will stick with me now, and I don’t want to feel like this again.
“I’m going to put this to the back of my mind because I didn’t achieve what I wanted to achieve.”
He added: “I’ll come back, trust me.”
In a video on Twitter, a GB coach can be heard screaming from the sidelines “Come on Ben enjoy it, you’ll never get this moment back!,” but Whittaker seemed forlorn and devastated by the second-place win.
He later appeared to regret his public display of disappointment, but said he couldn’t bear to celebrate silver.
“I don’t want to look like a baby or a spoiled brat but I am so upset that I didn’t win the gold. I feel like I lost gold. I can’t celebrate silver… I was doing it for everybody at home and I felt like a failure,” he told the outlet.
“At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal around my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country. When I look back in a few years, it will probably feel like a great achievement, but I was so upset that I couldn’t enjoy it.”
Among those to say well done was the English Premier League soccer team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, who he used to work for when he was younger. He was fired after getting caught eating a pie in the bathroom.
“A fantastic achievement, Ben! We’re all so proud of you back home,” the club said.
As of writing, the USA currently have twenty-nine gold, thirty-five silver, and twenty-seven bronze medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.