We may be holding our own, in terms of Olympic medals - but when it comes to celebrating, man mountain Robert Harting can teach us a thing or two about style.

Unlike many English athletes,the 6ft 7in discus champion didn't bother shedding a tear when he took gold with a mammoth throw.

Instead, he tore his shirt off Incredible Hulk style, flexed his muscles with a mighty roar and grabbed a German flag from the Olympic stadium. Then he tried his luck at another gold medal, this time in the women's hurdles. The track had already been set up for the women's 100 metre final but Harting wasn't going to let the hurdles become barriers to his victory lap.

So despite his 20 stone bulk (127 kgs), he jumped nearly all of them, cheered on by a delighted crowd in the 80,000 seat stadium. Next, he raced towards the Olympic cauldron, reached in, and attempted unsuccessfully to liberate one of the flaming prongs.


Finished now Herr Harting? Er, not quite. After leaving the stadium he headed out with friends and team-mates for a night to remember. If only he could.

His extraordinary celebration continued aboard a German cruise liner docked in London to accommodate the Teutonic team, embraced an alcohol-fuelled night on the tiles - and ended with him falling asleep on a train, being robbed, and barred entry to the Olympic village yesterday after losing his accreditation.

Beat that for Olympic gold! The first fans and friends knew of his troubles came when he Tweeted in (almost) English: 'Puuh i just got robbed while I did some work to please athletic fans! I lost all my accredition [sic] for Olympic Village! - no entrance.'

Shortly after dawn he managed to get a message to German team manager Siegfried Schonert but had to wait until 8am before arrangements were made to get him in.

First reports said he went to bed 'dead tired' - and without realising he was no longer in possession of his kit and equipment.

Back home in the Fatherland, however, he was hailed as a hero. In his native Berlin, officials were preparing a homecoming victory parade and were singing his praises. Social Democrat mayor Klaus Wowereit described his victory as 'Phenomenal'.

He added: 'He is, and remains, a symbol of Berlin sport. Berlin is proud.' Meanwhile the athlete's stadium antics took off on YouTube (and possibly on CCTV somewhere along the Docklands Light Railway).

Harting, unbeaten in a straight run of 29 competitions, is known as Lord of the Ring by fans, a reference to the circle from which the discus is thrown.


His winning mark for the 2012 games was a formidable 68.27 metres, the width of an Olympic football pitch.

The big German is unlikely to face any disciplinary measures for his exuberance, although officials did inspect the Olympic cauldron afterwards for possible damage. He was even allowed a lie-in yesterday.

German medal winners are normally expected to be on public parade at 9.00am on the morning following their victory but Harting was allowed to sleep in and attend the afternoon one instead.