Renaud Lavillenie, an Olympic pole vaulting champion, thought he had made the second biggest leap in the sport’s history – 6.07 m.
(The record holder, indoors and out, is the legendary Sergei Bubka, who went 6.14 outdoors and 6.15 indoors.)
LaVillenie celebrated, but only briefly – then his jump was ruled invalid. Even though the bar didn’t fall, it made an unlucky bounce out of its peg-holding position. Then, LaVillenie went ballistic:
A furious Lavillenie kicked out at the advertising hoardings and launched an angry tirade against the judges before collapsing to the floor.
The collapsing onto the floor move is textbook – for kids under the age of three. We call it a meltdown. The most difficult one I had to deal with came unexpectedly in a Cheesecake Factory in the summer of 2012. I began sweating profusely and was at a loss for what to do (mom wasn’t on this excursion), as all of my go-to moves (videos on the phone, storytelling, food, milk, etc) were not working.
As for LaVillenie, he managed to scrape himself up off the floor and still took gold in the event.
[UPDATE: Via Cork Gaines, here’s video of LaVillenie crying.]