College gymnast star Olivia Dunne has found herself at the centre of wild scenes that have been described as ‘disturbing and cringy’.
Dunne has built a cult following among American youth and is considered one of the most influential college athletes in the country with over 2.7 million followers on Instagram.
However, that fandom has turned ‘scary’ in recent times as was evident in the college season-opening meet.
Fans were out in force showing their support for the 20-year-old at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
This was all despite Dunne not even being on the lineup.
However, as Fox Sports reports, the scenes turned ugly when fellow Utah gymnast Jillian Hoffman was subjected to ‘disrespectful’ remarks from Livvy’s fans.
Hoffman’s mum, Jennifer said: “As we were walking to the car the group swarmed my daughter and her teammate.
“They literally said to their faces, you are not Livvy but you will do, can we get a picture. (The group) also called my daughter Livvy 2.0. They were so rude and disrespectful.”
John Furlong of KSL.com Sports described similar scenes of how the LSU team bus had to move its destination so they didn’t run into the group of boys.
Furlong had tweeted that day: “There’s literally a line outside of the Huntsman Center of teenage boys that keep asking if Livvy is coming out. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Footage of scenes during the day also surfaced which saw the group of fans bring a cardboard cutout of the gymnast, and consistently chant ‘We want Livvy!’ throughout the event.
The college athlete later took to Twitter to address the situation.
She said: “I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job.”
I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job❤️— Olivia Dunne (@livvydunne) January 8, 2023
Additional footage courtesy of former Olympic gymnast Samantha Peszek showed a hoard of fans waiting for Dunne outside the arena.
Upon realising that it wasn’t who they were after they began yelling toward the camera asking for Livvy.
Peszek wrote of the scenes: “This is actually so scary and disturbing and cringy. I’m embarrassed for them…”
This is actually so scary and disturbing and cringey. I’m embarrassed for them… pic.twitter.com/h23bBdBQ9B— Samantha Peszek (@samanthapeszek) January 8, 2023
Chris Samuels of The Salt Lake Tribune said of the incident: “Just a shocking amount of adolescent testosterone at the U gymnastics meet for LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne.
“Teenage boys are literally climbing over one another to get a pic of her on the floor.”
Featured Image Credit: @livvydunne/Instagram. @samanthapeszek/Twitter.