Gijs Van Hoecke: Cyclist Let Down Belgium Well Before Drunk Night out

Luis BatlleContributor IAugust 10, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Gijs van Hoecke of Belgium in action during the Men's Omnium Track Cycling Flying Lap 250m Time Trial on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Velodrome on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Yes, Gijs Van Hoecke outright embarrassed Belgium by drinking until he couldn't walk—but this was not his biggest letdown in London.

According to an Associated Press news brief featured by, Van Hoecke was told to leave the 2012 London Games after being photographed looking intoxicated after a night in London.

Van Hoecke told Belgium's VRT radio and television network that he regretted what happened, but he was just "letting off some steam" after two years of hard work.

The New York Daily News had this to contribute to the Twitter world after the news was released.

GO HOME! Belgians tell disgraced drunk cyclist to leave Olympics

— New York Daily News (@nydailynews) August 9, 2012


But the disappointment in Van Hoecke was already present after he put up a completely lackluster performance at the London Games.

His best individual finish at the Olympics was a ninth-place finish in the men's omnium 30 km. Germany's Roger Kluge dominated the event, and it was Van Hoecke who failed to even place near the top five.

This was followed by a failed elimination race in which he finished in 18th place. In the three races remaining—the 4-km individual pursuit, 15-km and 1-km— he was only able to crack the top-10 once, finishing 10th in the 4-km individual pursuit.

Talk about mediocre.

There is no question that being caught on camera wasted in London was a major letdown to his nation at the Games—however, his underachieving performances before that already had him in a bad light.

Make no mistake about it, the 20-year-old cycling talent did not meet expectations on or off the track.