Just taking part in the Olympics should be a career highlight for athletes, but no one have ever looked so sad after winning gold as North Korean gymnast Ri Se-Gewang.
Due to the reputation of his home nation, many people online speculated that the athlete looked so devastated after his victory because he had tasted freedom but knew he had to return to the secretive state.
One spectator was quoted by the Mirror as posting online:
He has seen the free world but he knows that he must go back, for the sake of his family. For that, he is brave.
Another fan added:
Poor fella, I do wish him the best. No one deserves to live in fear and sadness, all people in the world deserve hope and freedom.
We are human beings, we are supposed to help each other, this, this is not winning, this ain’t pride, this is fear represented through a camera targeting an North Korean athlete. Respect.
But now the ‘saddest gold medallist at Rio 2016’ has spoken about his reserved celebrations and he claims he looked so dejected because… well, he was delighted to win for his dictator Kim Jong Un.
“I was filled with joy because I thought I was able to bring a sense of victory to our leader” — Ri Se-Gwang pic.twitter.com/mwjasE11Kh
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) August 15, 2016
It has recently been alleged that North Korean athletes were banned from visiting tourist attractions during the Olympics.
It was also suggested by Radio Free Asia that all Samsung phones that were given to the athletes were collected by a North Korean representative to stop them communicating with the outside world.