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The most UNFORTUNATE olympic moment

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Biggest scandals have been discussed here in extenso. Also the greatest moments in olympic history.

But what about those moments of DRAMA? Those most memorable, sad and tragic moments of the unluckiest athletes ever... Moments where the world sighed "ooooooohhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooo........... poor guy!!!!! poor girl..........!!!"

Share your personal TOP 5 here.

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01) The men's horizontal bar debacle in Athens 2004. That was just a mess of global proportions, and showed what a joke that artistic gymnastics judging has become. I watched it and I thought to myself, "Did Simon Cowell just enter the building?" I expected the crowd to riot in the stands, even set the stadium on fire, judging by their reaction to Aleksey Nyemov's scores. It was unfortunate that this happened, but in a way, it was about bloody time.

02) While this is not an actual moment, it is unfortunate that Merlene Ottey, with all her success over the past three decades in athletics, never won an Olympic gold medal. I thought that she was robbed of the 100 metres crown in Atlanta, no matter what Gail Devers (who I respect, mind you) did.

03) Emilie Heymans' bombing on her final platform dive in Athens 2004 was bad enough, but I found the coverage of the aftermath to be horrendous and upsetting. The world does not need to see the cameraman capture Emilie's backstage breakdown. This is the Olympics, NOT American Idol.

04) Oh, and Jane Saville getting DQd in the 20km race walk in Sydney, mere moments before she was to enter the stadium and get her gold medal. That was sad, but that's race walking for you. At least she redeemed herself four years later with a bronze medal.

05) Wilson Kipketer, the finest 800 metres runner of our time, was prevented from representing Denmark in 1996 due to citizenship problems. The next two O,ympics that he was able to compete for his new homeland, despite his credentials, he failed to win. I especially felt sorry for him last year. Yuriy Borzakovskiy beat him for the title, which given his age he may never ever win.

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Have to agree with alexds69 (what an ID  :D ) about Jane Saville:


That was so cruel, and considering how arbitrary and unfair the judges can be in Olympic walking, it seems like disqualifying her within sight of the finish line was too rough for words.

A few others...

1) Pietri Dorando and the end of the 1908 Marathon. Here was a guy who had almost won the marathon, but in the last moments came to collapse. Pulled across the line by officials and crowd members (including Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holm's creator), he lost the gold medal due to this assistance:


2) Ron Clarke; having been veaten by Billy Mills in 64, Clarke's last chance to win gold after a career of multiple long distance world records was in Mexico City. During the 10,000 metres he was leading till 1 1/2 laps to go, when he simply ran out of oxygen. After dragging himself to the finish line he fell unconscious and wasn't able to revived for another hour. The story is well summarised here


3. Mike Powell in Atlanta: Having been the first to beat Bob Beamon's legendary jump from Mexico City, Powell was a warm favouirte for Barcelona...unfortunately for him Carl Lewis pulled out two of the greatest Olympic long jumps ever and won gold. 4 years late in Atlanta, whilst Lewis won his 9th gold Powell tore his gorin on his 5th jump, and his despair was absolutely huge, even though he tried to do a 6th leap. Unforgettable stuff...


5. Derek Redmond in Barcelona: I'm sure a lot of us remember Redmond's dramatic blow up in the 400 metres in Barcelona, and the IOC used his story of trying to finish the final on one leg during its promotions of the games before Sydney 2000. The full story is here.


6. The curse of the 4x100metres relay: In 1936 you had the German women's team drop their baton during their final of the Berlin Olympics. Ilse Dorfeldt dropped the baton after being passed it from Marie Dollinger. 16 years later Marjoir Jackson jarred the baton from Winsome Cripps' hand in the final of the Helsinki women's 4x100 metres. Even though the 100m & 200m gold medallist Jackson caught the baton as it rebounded off the track, the Aussie's ended up in 5th.

There's heaps of others I could cite; the IOC's web site has a few citations and there's always official films and Olympic highlights videos for more examples

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IMHO - Ron Clarke never winning a gold is the biggest tragedy.  The guy was the premier runner of the 50's and 60's and were it not for the altitude of Mexico City, he surely would have won.

However, he has one of Emil Zatopek's gold medal from Helsinki in his collection  as a wonderful gesture from Zatopek that he should have one.  :cool:

Mary Decker's fall in Los Angeles would certainly have been up there had it not been for her bad performance afterwards. Bad case of bad luck that should have been handled with more dignity.  But I still remember sitting watching it that night and thinking, "Oh my God"


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