In some ways Yuri van Gelder is a marvel of humanity: a world-beating Dutch gymnast whose physical strength, agility and grace is almost unparalleled in human history. But in other ways Yuri van Gelder is me and Yuri van Gelder is you.
On Saturday, Yuri successfully qualified for the finals of the rings event, coming eighth out of the 70 competing athletes. The finals aren't till next Monday (15th August) so that night, he went out celebrating in Rio, despite strict rules in the Dutch camp that athletes aren't allowed to leave the team base or consume alcohol. He returned in the early hours of Sunday, by which point his fate was sealed. He was disqualified from the team and won't be allowed to compete in the final.
"It's terrible for Yuri, but this kind of behaviour is unacceptable," said team ambassador Maurits Hendriks said in a statement on Tuesday. He added: "In sports terms this is a disaster." Yeah, no shit.
Poetically, this isn't the first time Yuri has been in this kind of mess. In 2009, he was suspended from the Dutch Gymnastics Union after taking cocaine three days before the national championships.
It just goes to show that the resolve you need to train relentlessly every day of your life isn't necessarily the same as the resolve you need to stop yourself getting smashed on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Brazil in the middle of summer.
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