Did John Inverdale Make Final 'Golden Couple' Gaffe During BBC Rio Olympics Coverage?

BBC man gets corrected by Clare Balding.
John Inverdale with London boxing gold medallist Anthony Joshua.
John Inverdale with London boxing gold medallist Anthony Joshua.

Article originally published 21/08/2016: due to a technical issue this article may have resurfaced for some readers, and the original publish date may not have been visible.

John Inverdale has had a difficult Olympics, and has now faced having a BBC colleague attempting to correct him - even when he may not have been wrong.

The broadcaster interrupted the post-match analysis of Joe Joyce of Team GB’s defeat in the boxing super-heavyweight final to France’s Tony Yoka to show pictures of the Frenchman celebrating with his fiancee Estelle Mossely, who won France’s first women’s Olympic boxing crown on Friday.

Halting world heavyweight champion and London gold medallist Anthony Joshua, Inverdale pondered:

“Let me interrupt for a second just to say the picture there on the right is of two Olympic champions - a soon to be husband and wife in a couple of weeks time, both who are Olympic gold medallists here.

“I don’t know if two engaged couples, or fiancés, have ever won golds at the same Olympic Games, but any way those will be great pictures for the French media in a couple of weeks time ...”

Not only has there been an engaged British ‘golden couple’ at Rio, there has been a married British couple who have bagged a gold medal each.

Clare Balding, back in the studio in Rio, had some facts:

“The answer to the question have two people been engaged and won medals? Yes, actually, at these games.

Great Britain’s Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, are due to get married in a couple of weeks.

“And a married couple in the hockey, Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh.”

Clare Balding sets the record straight.
Clare Balding sets the record straight.

But Inverdale had referred to “two engaged couples” - presumably four people - though didn’t mention Trott and Kenny.

It would seem like a fairly big oversight for a professional broadcaster when there has been a significant amount of media coverage of both British couples following their triumphs.

Bronze medallists!

A photo posted by Kate Walsh (@katewalsh11gb) on

When couples wear the same 😘🌈

A photo posted by Laura Trott (@laura_trott31) on

Many seemed to think like Balding.

There will be another episode of the #Olympics tomorrow where Clare Balding corrects all of mistakes of John Inverdale.

It lasts until 2020

— Joel Gleicher (@JoelG_88) August 21, 2016

So John Inverdale rudely interrupts British heavy weight champion Anthony of the world Joshua to show us 2 engaged French athletes. #div

— Tubes (@TubesSoccerAM) August 21, 2016

Someone should introduce John Inverdale to these two loved up Olympians #bbcrio2016 pic.twitter.com/Dd86wewAaB

— Jamie H (@jamiefrombrum) August 21, 2016

"I don't know is any engaged couples have both won gold before." It's taken about three days for John Inverdale to forget Trott and Kenny.

— Georgina Turner (@georgina_turner) August 21, 2016

Classy @clarebalding exposing appalling commentary / knowledge from Inverdale yet again! @BBCSport #olympiccouples

— Stephen Doughty (@SDoughtyMP) August 21, 2016

It’s not been the best of Olympics for Inverdale.

Andy Murray was quick to set him straight when the presenter seemed to forget that women’s achievements in tennis also count. During his post-match interview with Murray after the champion’s men’s singles victory at the Olympics, Inverdale remarked that Murray was the first person to win two tennis golds in the sport. But Murray reminded him: “Venus and Serena have won about four each.”

There was also more than a little tension between Inverdale and Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave when anchoring the rowing coverage.

Editor’s note: story was edited to reflect Inverdale may have been talking about two engaged couples winning gold.



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