It’s easy to joke that every competitor in a race walk event looks like they are making a nervous beeline to the nearest restroom but, during Friday's Olympics, one French racer's funny gait actually signaled a bathroom emergency during a race.
Yohann Diniz built up a lead in the 50-kilometer walk but, around mid-point through the race, his No. 1 status was about to become more about No. 2 — and I don't mean positioning.
The world record holder appeared to lose control of his bowels on the course and ended up stuffing wet sponges down his shorts to help stem the tide of the gastro-intestinal inconvenience.
With 20K to go, Diniz had a healthy lead — 1 minute, 28 seconds — on the rest of the field when he pulled up complaining of stomach pain. At the 35K mark, Diniz keeled over and collapsed onto the pavement.
Race walker Yohann Diniz of #FRA collapsed, but heroically managed to finish the race. https://t.co/5qbXjgsAm1 https://t.co/IaHfnK0AH1— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 19, 2016
Officials helped the gritty high-school sports coach from France back to his feet before he doused his head with a bottle of water, rubbed himself down with ice cubes and was off again.
"His legs were wobbling like cooked spaghetti at times" reported The AP.
Suffice it to say, they might want to give a brown medal to that 9th place finisher.