Four “Worsts” in Olympic History
The XXXDIX Olympiad opening ceremonies are Friday. We can only wonder what a thick bank of London fog will do to scramble things up. With this in mind, we took a look a some of the more hilarious low points in Olympic history:
Worst Opening Ceremony:
Seoul, Korea 1988
The entire ceremony was marred by blazing summer midday heat. In fact, the International Olympic Committee would make it mandatory from that point on that the opening Summer games ceremony be held at night. One of the demonstration’s two main portions consisted of a massive Tae Kwon Do demonstration. Now, they didn’t have real fighting because that might actually be fun to watch, so the entire demonstration was choreographed. The effect was like watching a synchronized pro wrestling ballet.
The opening ceremonies came to a fitting end when doves were released and the torch was lit. Actually, this would be the last time the I.O.C. allowed those two events to happen simultaneously, as the heat from the torched caused many doves to plunge from the sky, dead.
Worst Entry Requirements:
Calgary, Canada 1988
Apparently, all you really had to do was get chosen among all of the applicants to make the 1988 games. This worked out well for construction worker Eddy Edwards, who was the only person to apply for the British sku jump team, and thus was allowed in despite being 20 pounds heavier than anyone else in the competition. He came in dead last, and caused the I.O.C. to tighten up their entrance restrictions before the next games. Here is his pathetic, yet viable entry into the ski jump competition:
Worst Winning Performance
Not having learned from Eddy Edwards, the 2000 Olympics saw a push to get athletes from developing countries into sports not available in their home land. Which is why Eric Moussambani got a ticket to compete in the freestyle swimming, despite being from a country with only two swimming pools and despite not knowing how to swim a year prior.
Paired up with two other competitors in his initial heat, Moussambani’s odds shot way up when the other two were disqualified for false starts. Competing alone, Moussambani showed off that he barely had a stroke, dog-paddling the lane in twice the time of a normal entrant.
One of the first Olympics, the 1900 Paris games featured a bunch of one-time sports that were remarkably stupid. Croquette, auto racing, Basque Pelota (here’s a wiki), and ballooning. There was a 200m swimming contest that saw contestants climbing over poles and swimming underneath boats.
Six months before the competition, the I.O.C. ceded control of the events to the people that were holding the concordant World’s Fair. The new company then changed the schedule screwing up lots of travel plans as there were no airplanes back then. So most athletes were either pissed off or not there at all. The former head of the Olympics commented that it was “a miracle” that the Olympics survived past this point.
What will go hilariously wrong at the 2012 Olympics? No one knows for sure, but we’re guessing “hooligan brawl in the swimming pool.”Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!