Team GB boxer refuses silver medal and sulks on podium

Team GB boxer Ben Whittaker has received criticism for refusing to wear his silver medal on the podium at the Summer Olympics.

Whittaker captured the second British boxing silver of the Games this morning in a split decision loss to Cuba’s Arlen Lopez. Ben, who previously claimed that he wants to be the Mayor of Wolverhampton one day, quickly became one of the rising Tokyo stars for Great Britain as a result of his efficient performances and showman antics.

Alas, the wheels fell off in the gold medal match and with that came the disappointment of finishing runner-up.

Whittaker pours it all out

During the medal ceremony Whittaker opted to take his medal and put it in his pocket as opposed to wearing it. Then, he barely acknowledged his fellow medalists before exiting the podium.

In an interview after the result Whittaker made it crystal clear that he didn’t feel like he’d succeeded on his venture to the Olympics this time around.

“You don’t win silver, you lose gold. I’m very disappointed – I feel like a failure,” he said. 

“You’re in this game to win gold. I don’t want to feel like this again. I’m going to put this to the back of my mind. I’ll come back, trust me.”

This situation has reignited an interesting debate regarding the pros and cons of finishing on the podium. Some feel as if being able to win a bronze or silver is a huge statement of intent and a real achievement, whereas others dismiss it and only choose to recognise the gold.

Boxing, in particular, is a sport made up of incredibly confident individuals and it can’t have been easy for someone like Ben Whittaker to watch someone else take home the big prize.

The expectation now is that the 24-year-old will move forward with a professional career in boxing, putting his amateur days behind him.

Featured image credit: Getty