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USA. Gymnast Olivia Livvy Dunne needs protection. Fans disrupted the TikTok star’s match

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Members of the gymnastics team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge will travel to away games with added security, their coach Jay Clarke told CNN on Saturday. The decision was made after the fans of one of the players, Olivia Dunne, watched by millions of users online, first disrupted the meeting and then “surrounded” her and her friends during the last competition.

Olivia “Livvie” Dunne, 20, is a gymnast at Louisiana State University. She has become a social media star. Dunne has three million followers on Instagram and 6.8 million on TikTok. Thanks to the popularity gained in this way, the 20-year-old works with many sponsors, and “Sports Illustrated” magazine named her the highest-paid athlete competing in university competitions.

However, during her team’s away meeting in Salt Lake City on January 6, the popularity of the 20-year-old proved to be problematic. Her numerous fans in the stands, mostly teenage boys, disrupted the game. Videos and photos circulating on social media show them waving banners saluting Oliva in their hands and loudly chanting, among other things, “We want Livvy!”, “Give us Livvy!”. Due to an injury that day, Dunne watched the games from the bench.

Gymnastics coach Jay Clark, quoted by CNN, said his players were “hemmed in by the crowd”. – (Fans – ed.) have become an important part of the competition. They distracted from what was happening on the dance floor. It was so intense it was unsettling. There was a mob-like atmosphere there, which for me, as someone who takes responsibility for the well-being of our children, was disturbing,” Clark explained.

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Olivia Dunne draws fans to the competition

Teenage fans were also waiting for Dunne outside the hall where her team’s meeting was taking place. ESPN expert Samantha Peszek posted a video on Twitter showing a crowd at the exit of the building. The boys chanted the celebrity’s name and shouted to the players leaving the hall to “give them Livvie” and “we love you Livvie”. Peszek described the scene as “scary, disturbing and cringey”. “I’m ashamed of them,” she said.

According to the mother of another gymnast on the team, Jennifer Hoffman, Livvy’s fans later made it difficult for them to return home as well. “As we were returning to the car, their group surrounded my daughter and her friend. They told her straight to her face that she was not Livvy, but she would do, so let her take a picture with them,” she reported.

As the gymnasts coach informed, after the events in Salt Lake City, the team decided to go to away matches with additional protection. “When we hit the road, we’ll be thoroughly protected and we’ll work to create a cordon around where we get off and board the bus,” the coach explained. Dunne herself also referred to the confusion at the last match. “I will always appreciate and love your support guys, but if you come to competitions, I ask you to respect other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we do our job,” the celebrity tweeted.

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CNN, Instagram, TikTok/Olivia Dunne

Main photo source: PAP/Newscom

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