Renaud Lavillenie is the world’s top pole vaulter, and at the European Indoor Championships over the weekend, the reigning Olympic champ showed why, easily beating the field with a best jump of 6.01 meters, a full quarter-meter ahead of his closest competition. So why’d he look like, uh, this:
Well, you might have noticed him look like very much the opposite of that at the beginning of the videos, wildly celebrating. That was because he’d just cleared the bar on a 6.07-meter jump. 6.07 meters would be a better jump than anyone in history except Sergei Bubka – who, for the uninitiated, is basically the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of pole vaulting rolled into one. No one’s topping him – they can only hope to top everyone else except him. And Lavillenie thought he’d done it… but the bar moved just enough to disqualify him. He was not happy about that:
Hey, uh, Renaud: it’s okay. You still won. By, like, a lot.
There we go. Turn that frown upside down.
Gold medal photo via Getty