British Boxer Catches Heat For Refusing To Wear Silver Medal On Podium After Loss

British Boxer Ben Whittaker Refuses To Wear Silver Medal On Podium

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  • British boxer Ben Whittaker was so distraught that he lost that he refused to wear his silver medal on the podium.
  • Whittaker lost his light heavyweight gold medal bout to Cuba’s Arlen Lopez in a split decision.
  • More Olympics news here.

After losing a split decision to Cuba’s Arlen Lopez in the men’s gold medal light heavyweight bout, 24-year-old British boxer Ben Whittaker refused to wear his silver medal on the podium.

Instead, Whittaker stuck the medal in his pocket before being cajoled into showing it to photographers while the other medalists celebrated.

“Yeah, so, I didn’t win a gold,” Whittaker told MailOnline.com. “I lost a gold, so to me it’s a failure so I am not going to celebrate silver at the moment. I am sure over the years I will look back and see what an achievement it is.”

Whittaker added, “You don’t win silver…you lose gold. So that is why I was so emotional. Nobody trains for silver or bronze.

“Everybody up here trained for the gold medal. I woke up this morning truly believing this was my time. I had the whole of the West Midlands behind me and Great Britain.”

Many fans watching Whittaker’s actions called him out for being a poor sport.

Not everyone took issue with Whittaker’s response to winning a silver medal, however.

Whittaker did later put the medal around his neck while speaking to the media and expressed some remorse for not doing so while on the podium.

“I was doing it for everybody at home and I felt like a failure,” he said, according to The Independent. “At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal round my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country.

“Even when I’m playing FIFA with my mates and I lose, I’m not talking to them for the next couple of hours – I’ve always been like that since I was a kid – so please accept that I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to anyone.

“I wasn’t trying to take the shine away from Arlen’s moment but it hurt me so deep, and I felt so embarrassed. I will look back on it later and think ‘what was I doing?’ But I would like to thank everyone for getting behind me.”

He then added, “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.”

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