Many who have been watching coverage of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have noticed one thing: there is a lot of booing from the crowd. Alberto Murray Neto, a Brazilian lawyer and former member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, explained:
“Brazilian soccer dominated the sporting culture here, [so] mastering the codes of other sports will be a learning process for many people who have never seen them played. This is the Brazilian way, which is different from the very proper English way in 2012.”
And the fans attending the events have noticed, as well. German spectator Marian Busch said that she saw a marked difference: “They do things that would be considered unfair and unsporting in Europe.”
Brazilian spectators booed Russians after news broke of the doping scandal.
They booed American soccer goalie Hope Solo every time she touched the ball:
They booed beach volleyball favorites Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross at every serve:
But things really got out of hand when Brazilian challenger Thiago Braz Da Silva competed in the pole vault against defending champion and world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Lavillenie was booed throughout the competition — something he said he expected:
“I expected some whistles, and it wouldn't have shocked me, but I didn’t expect it to be so violent.”
But the booing continued, even after Da Silva pulled off the incredible upset, winning Brazil's second gold medal of the games. It got so bad that, during the medals ceremony, Lavillenie was reduced to tears as he accepted his silver medal.
But newly awarded Brazilian gold-medalist Da Silva turned out to be a far better sportsman than his fans, offering consolation to the defeated Lavillenie behind the scenes following the medal ceremony:
And Lavillenie was so touched by the Brazilian's gesture that he later shared his own photos from the ceremony and afterward:
While the Olympic games are primarily about excellence in athletics, there is one little-known medal for which the Brazilian crowd could never be in contention: the Pierre de Coubertin medal, which awarded for showing exceptional sportsmanship and embodying the spirit of the Olympic games.
One of the most famous recipients of the de Coubertin medal was Luz Long, the German competitor who helped American Jesse Owens qualify for the long jump. The two men then made a statement by embracing in front of Adolf Hitler.
The de Coubertin medal is not awarded at every Olympics, but many have already called for the award to be given to American Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin after they helped each other through the 5,000-meter race after a collision on the track.