There’s a monster life lesson here. The cameras are rolling. They’re always rolling. Just about every moment of our lives is being recorded by some device. As such, it might be best to start the winning celebrations after you have actually won something, rather than before. French runner Jimmy Gressier isn’t likely to forget this.
The mud may have seemed inviting to Gressier, 21, just before he won gold in the under-23 men’s European Cross Country race. The rains in Tilburg, Netherlands, slowed down the runners. There were no records set, for sure.
Gressier’s win seemed assured. He was so confident that he’d even taken two French flags from bystanders. He’d planned to drop to his knees and glide across the finish line, waving the French flags. But in a metaphor for the current state of France itself, Gressier wiped out.
His knees stuck and he went face first into the muck. His slide did take him across the line, but he still had to suffer the indignity of standing again, and face the laughing crowd.
“The BBC Sport commentator can be heard laughing throughout footage of the attempted slide and says ‘his big moment and he fluffed it’ as the moment is shown again,” The Daily Mail writes.
In the end, Gressier was still a full eight seconds ahead of the German, Samuel Fitwi, who took silver in the race (albeit more gracefully).
“The conditions of the race were difficult. But still the course was really nice despite of the weather conditions,” Gressier said after.
“The biggest difference compared to last year is the fact that I was the one who was chasing then. This year I was the one getting chased.”
Still, gold is gold. France, as it is wont to do, picked itself up from the mud and made it across the finish line ahead of the Germans.