Francois Hougaard has been awarded another Olympics bronze medal after giving his away to injured teammate Seabelo Senatla
The Worcester scrum-half was a late call-up to South Africa’s bronze medal-winning side
With injured Senatla watching on from the stands, Hougaard played in the Boks playoff win
Springbok Francois Hougaard has been rewarded for the ultimate act of sportsmanship. The veteran gave away his Olympic medal to an injured teammate but the international star was handed an unexpected surprise on Thursday – his own bronze medal
Hougaard was called up to join Team SA’s Rugby Sevens side for the final day’s play at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last month as a replacement to Seabelo Senatla, who injured his wrist on day two of the three day tournament.
The versatile Bok star played in the semi-final against Great Britain and the third-place play-off against Japan with Senatla in the stands. A couple of hours later, Hougaard was on the podium to receive one of the 12 medals given to the players.
As he departed for South Africa the next day, he insisted that Senatla, who played in all the tournaments leading up to the Games, should take the bronze medal, as he felt the winger deserved it more, being the stand-out player for the team all year. Hougaard then left Rio without a medal.
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) September 2, 2016
“This is a wonderful surprise and something I really didn’t expect,” said Hougaard. “When I gave the medal the Seabelo, I felt he deserved it more than I did, and I still feel so, but having played a part in Rio, I’m very grateful to have received this medal and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it possible.
“It’s something I will cherish for many years as one of the best moments of my rugby career.”