And the gold medal for partying goes to... Gijs van Hoecke

Belgian cyclist sent home from Olympics for excessive boozing

by Sarah Barth   August 10, 2012  

London 2012 medals

Gijs van Hoecke has been sent home from the Olympics in disgrace after pictures surfaced of him looking like a sozzled mess after a night out in Central London.

The Belgian track cyclist was sent home by his national Olympic committee after the pictures showed him outside the nightclub Mahiki, also frequented by members of the Royal Family, with embarrassing wet patches on his trousers, being helped to walk by two friends, including his team-mate Jonathan Dufrasne.

The club had put on an Olympic night and invited a number of athletes who were plied with free booze.

Presumably van Hoecke's training schedule doesn't allow him to build up much alcohol tolerance

Belgian officials said in a statement that the pictures were "deplorable", and "this incident fortunately did not affect life in the Olympic Village and athletes trying to rest ahead of their competition"

The Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws quoted the regretful 20-year-old, who came 15th in the omnium.

He said: "I made a big mistake

"I'm happy my parents didn't tell me off. They understand that I needed this."



14 user comments

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Saw this splashed across the front of a tabloid in the shop yesterday. The wet patch was indeed in an embarassing place. I did wonder what trouble it was going to cause.

That said, if they gave a 20-year-old free booze after being in a pressured environment for a while, what did they expect?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
10th August 2012 - 9:35


Maybe they should check for traces of any banned diuretics - that's probably the cause...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [418 posts]
10th August 2012 - 10:09

1 Like

Po-faced, miserable Belgian officials? Who'd have guessed it.

posted by paulfg42 [395 posts]
10th August 2012 - 12:34

1 Like

Now that cycling is the new football, we'll start to see stuff like this on the font pages of the tabloids. Smile

Wiggo goes off the rails..... Wiggo said he'd marry me and then dumped me by text.....etc Wink

posted by Parkaboy [13 posts]
10th August 2012 - 13:41

1 Like

Some nice pictures here. He seems to be covered head to crotch in wet patching....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9367 posts]
10th August 2012 - 14:04


The guy is twenty! So he got very legless and got hauled into a taxi showing his Borgs, I'm glad to see that he his behaving like most ordinary 20 year olds letting off steam. The pictures may not be pretty but he did not start a fight or commit an act of public indecency. The only truly stupid thing he did was carry his Olympic accreditation with him making him an easy spot for the paps.
After the pictures hit the press no doubt Belgian officials felt they had to act. Perhaps they could have thought more creatively, and insisted he attended the the morning session of the athletics 80,000 cheering fans and a hangover that would make anyone think twice next time


posted by lushmiester [165 posts]
10th August 2012 - 14:22

1 Like

They sent him home for getting plastered offsite after his event had finished? Seems a bit pointless. He didn't disrupt preparation (his or anyone elses) and they're hardly the most embarassing pictures in the world (even with the unfortunate wet patch on his trousers). Let the boy get it out of his system, for goodness sake.

posted by step-hent [718 posts]
10th August 2012 - 14:24

1 Like

From the pix he looks wet top to bottom...did someone pour water over him to wake him up from a drunken slumber? Who knows?

Dave Clark 5..."And I'm feeling, wet all over, yes I'm, wet all over!"

posted by batch [60 posts]
10th August 2012 - 23:46

1 Like

He was going home anyway and the only thing that was "deplorable" was that he smelt of stale booze on the carriage of the Eurostar. An easy cop out for the Belgians in charge although i don't doubt that he will suffer some ridicule for the pictures from his team mates perhaps a packet of Pampers in his locker Devil .

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
11th August 2012 - 9:51

1 Like

Poor lad all he was doing was following in the footsteps of one of their swimmers Rolling On The Floor


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [734 posts]
11th August 2012 - 11:34

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Can't have it all ways, can we? The sport is now popular and in the public eye, so a young rider going ouut and being plied with free drink (who is responsible for that daft idea??) then gets in a state and has to be helped home. It happens, big news when it is one bike rider, not news when it is many "athletes" who do it on a regular basis from another sport. Presumably the pressure of all that money being made is too much and they need to "let off steam" about twice a week...!

He was going home in a day or two anyway, and from what he said, his mum still loves him. I hope he looks back and smiles about this when he is a successful rider in a couple of years. Who can honestly say they never got a bit silly once in a while?


posted by doc [167 posts]
11th August 2012 - 11:48

1 Like

He got drunk, so what? I hope he enjoyed himself before the hangover.

posted by kie7077 [800 posts]
11th August 2012 - 14:07


My mate Pete got smashed and made his own wet patch as I was trying to carry him home in a fireman's lift style the other day. Got my shirt wet too, the swine.
He's 49.
Sorry, I didn't get a picture for you. That would have served him right.
Pete is old enough to know better, but a 20 year old is expected to overdo it sometimes. Glad to hear Mr van Heoke enjoyed himself between training schedules.

Chris's picture

posted by Chris [129 posts]
13th August 2012 - 12:32


I seem to remember when Mr. Wiggins was asked what he was going to do after the olympics He replied something on the lines of go out and get pissed/drunk. Nobody said tut tut young lad gets plied with free drink gets "tired & emotional" big ho-hah, was the press short of copy?


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [734 posts]
14th August 2012 - 10:20

1 Like