Will the Real Adults Please Stand Up?

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, December 1995

Will the Real Adults Please Stand Up?
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta

On the drama meter, it didn't rank with Tommy Smith and John Carlos raising Black Power fists at the 1968 Olympic Games. But Anne-Caroline Chausson's bit of podium rebellion at last September's World Mountain Bike Championships in Kirchzarten, Germany, did cause a stir. The 17-year-old French sensation bitterly refused to don her junior world champion's rainbow jersey at the awards ceremony, in protest of race organizers' decision to bar her from the senior downhill, which she was also favored to win. Seniors, officials announced the night before the race, must be 18. And so Chausson fumed as American Leigh Donovan, 23, won with a slower time than the junior champ. Chausson's legion of teenybopper fans hinted at a conspiracy, going so far as to belt out the "Marseillaise" during Donovan's podium appearance. After which the sportsmanship meter really dove: Donovan indiscreetly flipped off the crowd.

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