In a landslide win in the men’s 30km skiathlon yesterday, ROC’s cross-country superstar Alexander Bolshunov finally won his first Olympic gold medal. He pulled away from the pack early on and crossed the finish line with a final time of 1:16:9.8 waving the ROC flag high in the air. Bolshunov won four medals at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but none of them were gold. In addition to his most recent landmark race, the 25-year-old is also the four time World Cup champion since the 2018 season in distance.
After the race concluded and it was time for athletes to step on the podium for the awards ceremony, fans quickly took to social media platforms and made him an internet sensation. But, not because of his first place finish.
As he patted the highest step of the podium in preparation for his big celebratory jump, the ROC icon jumped a little too far and landed on the front tip of the platform. With just enough force to knock down the “Beijing 2022” banner sign in front, he came to a halt. Noticing his destructive jump, Bolshunov attempted to fix the banner. But, his efforts were to no avail and meme’s quickly followed suit.
Now, with over 780.9 thousand views on TikTok, to the sound of the “Mario Kart loss” audio, the ROC Olympic gold medalist became an internet sensation overnight.
View social media post: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdkCwSqF/
Bolshunov also posted to his own Instagram page acknowledging that “something went down” in the men’s skiathlon with a crying laughing emoji.
View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZogLiusHlL/
Don’t worry, with help from his teammate Denis Spitsov who took silver, the two fixed the banner.