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  • jason stone

    excellent list…i didn’t remember a lot of these so it was a very interesting read

  • Little_Sam

    The railroading of Richard Jewell for the Atlanta Olympic Bombing by (some) people in the media was shameful. I don’t think he ever fully recorvered from the unfair scrutiny. It is because of this incident (and others) that the term “person of interest” began to be used by the media instead of “suspect”. At least the real bomber was eventually caught and prosecuted. I am glad you put the Munich tragedy number 1. In my opinion this is the worst moment in modern Olympic history — period.

    • Lee Standberry

      There’s an annoying tendency by the media to jump into crimimal investigations and essentially hold a trial over the airwaves. No doubt that the outcome is especially damaging when it comes to light that the police have the wrong guy. And I agree, there is no worse tragedy than the terrorist attack in Munich. Preventing such a tragedy is exactly why the Brits have spent 100’s of millions they have on security for the 2012 Games and i commend them for it.

  • Zach Gillette

    #9 I wouldn’t have taken the medal either. There are no “do-overs” in basketball. I’ve researched this game and the Soviets simply cheated until the final shot fell.

    As a referee, you CANNOT let a play finish, take it back, and do it again.

    • Lee Standberry

      The US players had ever reason to be outraged – however, i would say that the refs cheated and not the soviets (unless they were somehow bribed by the Russians). The Soviets just capitolized off of the continual do-overs. There is no question, however, that the US was robbed – several times – at the end of the game. That being said, this type of thing happens all the time – its apart of sports in general. There is still a decorum that I think should be respected, especially with an event like the olympics.

      • ParusMajor

        I agree with Lee on this one; the Soviets didn’t cheat (they weren’t that bad if they only needed one point at the end of the game to win), the referees just didn’t do their job. @Zach, the referees have already reversed one decision in these games as well, because of audience reaction.

        “On Sunday, a South Korean judoka named Cho Jun-Ho was named the winner of an Olympic quarterfinal match against Japan’s Masashi Ebinuma. His triumph was short-lived: For some reason, officials from the International Judo Federation stepped in and convinced the judges to reverse their decision and hand the match to Ebinuma”.

      • Zach Gillette

        While I can agree the players didn’t cheat, if the Soviets bribed the officials, then the Soviets cheated. Sounding a horn DURING a free throw is blatant tampering, even though Collins made the shot.

        The U.S. had a target on their back. The referee even made the U.S. not guard the inbound pass even though there was no violation of the rules in play.

    • TriviaFan

      I agree with Zach, I would not have taken the medal either.

      40 years later, reading an account of what happened, it still infuriates me.

  • Daniel

    Wow…this was well thought out and in a great order. I totally agree with the number 1 on this list. Well done

  • James

    And as always when 1968 is brought up no one mentions the Australian in 2nd place Perer Norman.

    His treatment for his involvement is every bit as disgusting as that faced by the 2 Americans.

    • Lee Standberry

      You’re correct, i should have added a line or two about Norman. Norman was fully aware of what was going on to the extent that you will notice that he is wearing the circular civil rights patch on his uniform mirroring the two Americans (actually it’s the Olympic Project for Human Rights patch). In fact, he suggested that each of the Americans wear one black glove apiece because one of them forgot to bring his own pair. When Norman returned home, he received similar black list treatment – a harsh reality for someone who was sympathetic to the plight of people facing harsh discrimination thousands of miles away. Norman was also outspoken concerning Australia’s policy concerning the Aboriginals. As a sign of the respect that Norman earned Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral a few years ago.

      • ParusMajor

        Oh, that’s interesting. I never knew about Norman (he was white and didn’t raise his fist, so he kind of made himself invisible despite his silver medal.) Thank you for the info. 🙂

  • nogod

    so the USA boycotted the 1980 because the Soviets where occupying Afghanistan, kinda ironic don’t you think?

    • ParusMajor

      Indeed. 🙂

  • ParusMajor

    Have you seen this: ??? Funny and related to the Olympics. 😀

  • Ronnie

    Another messed up list. First of #9 should be #3 because of the travesty of what happened. Also, you are blaming the wrong people. I would not have accepted a silver medal either. This wasn’t about refs messing up, this was about refs CHEATING so that the russians could win. There is no denying that at all. I can’t believe you would vilify the US team for not accepting medals.

    • Tom

      Agreed. What happened to the Americans was a crime. The players had and have every right to be bitter about their mistreatment at the hands of the officials.

  • Ned

    I have to disagree with you that the 84 boycott was worse than the 80 boycott. Yes, I’m American. Both boycotts went against the “olmpic ideal” regardless of getting even.

  • william

    how is Lip-Syncing in the 2008 olympics a worst olympic moment???
    you know this happened in Sydney olympics as well right??

  • TJ

    Both boycotts have to be there. Just saying.

    • TJ

      Clarifying on my comment, what I meant was they should both be included on the same number. Sorry. Multitasking here. Great list. Feel sorry for both young Chinese girls though.

  • bballfan

    I cannot believe this list blames the US college players in this game as the bad sports. They were playing Soviet professionals who still could not beat the US college player fairly. The writer of this list is tremendously anti-American who is trying to revise history. I watched every minute of that game and could not believe that the Soviets were given three unbelievable chances to score the winning basket. The winning basket was only scored when the Soviet player blatantly knocked down the US player to get the long pass that allowed him to score the final basket. The fact that no foul was called on this play, made it obvious that the game was fixed. I am removing this link from my bookmarks, I refuse to read propaganda.

    • Lee Standberry

      Usually, I’m accused of being too ‘pro – American’, so it’s a nice change to be on the other side of the coin for once. Still, let me address your comment.

      First, I agree with you that the US team was robbed. There is no doubt whatsoever that the horrible officiating was the cause of the US loss in this game. So that point is not a point of contention and is clearly stated in the list.

      Secondly, you assertion that “Thew were playing Soviet professionals who still could not beat the US college players fairly.” is not totally accurate. The Soviets played the American very tough in this game, a fact that you cannot dismiss because they were close enough in score for the end to be in contention in the first place. Had the US, for example, had a 10 point lead going into the final seconds of the game, the officiating wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference.

      Thirdly, I’m hardly anything close to being anti-American, and if you take the time to read some of my other contributions on top tenz, you would see that. Take a look before you remove the link from your bookmarks.

      And finally my friend, relax – its not that serious. I happen to belief that the spirit of sportsmanship demands a high standard of decorum and personal/team/national etiquette. Yes, the US was blatantly cheated out of their gold medal by horrendous officiating. Yet, as i noted, human error is a part of the game. Bad, even terrible calls happen. On the Olympic stage you simply have to accept the good with the bad. I firmly believe not accepting the silver medals was bad taste. You may think otherwise, and many share your opinion. I’m just not one of them.

      And Team USA topped the medal count this year in 2012 – finishing well ahead of China. Whew! Congrats to All

      • Ronnie

        Lee, you keep implying that the officials just screwed up! Are you crazy or just ignorant? It is obvious the officials CHEATED!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone but you seems to be able to acknowledge this.

        • Lee Standberry

          I acknowledge that the US Team was robbed. I don’t know if the refs cheated or were just idiots. Whether its obvious that they cheated is up for speculation because none of the US appeals to the point were granted – which would mean that the refs were just idiots – unless this indicates a conspiracy that went further than just the refs. Who knows, maybe it did. I’m not arguing the cause of the refs.

          MY POINT IS THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER. The US Team should have carried themselves in a better fashion and accepted the silver.

          • Ronnie

            Easy for you to say 40 years later, but in the moment most would do the same thing given the situation at the time. I think you are being unfair calling them to a higher standard 40 years later.

            • Lee Standberry

              I agree with you that in the moment passions were inflamed. and i can’t say that i blame the players, fans, fellow Americans and anyone else for feeling that way. I was too young to have actually seen the game live – I seen the repeats of the incident several years later and people were still pissed off about it. And 40 years later, that’s still the case.

              Now just think about that for a moment…40 YEARS later, folks are still upset about a horrible call in a basketball game!!!!! I’m sorry, but as f***ed up as the call was, yeah, i think that higher ideals trump the situation. We should ALWAYS aspire to be better than our base passions. Sometimes we fail, sometimes we fall short – that’s ok. The key is (or supposed to be) that we try harder next time to reach for the higher ideal. If anything, isn’t that what history is supposed to teach us? Aren’t we supposed to learn from our mistakes?

              So no, i’m not going to justify what the US did regardless of how understandably emotional the situation was. And yeah, hindsight is 20/20 but that’s just the way i see it.

    • CoolHipster

      I believe most everybody is resigned to there being poor behaviour from the americans if they aren’t in first place. Happens all the time from the, and there’s no other word, brats.

      • Stuart

        I think the officiating in that game was pretty shady. regardless of whether they felt robbed or not, I think the team should have gone and collected their medals.

    • Charles Campbell

      I agree that the writer of this list is sadly delusional. The 1972 final was a travesty. The Americans were ripped off. I watched the game when it was originally played .

  • canopee

    2012 Olympics and Paralympics – Worst audience ever!! Booing at wheelchair basketball players, that are not from GB?! like that happened in various occasions.
    The British are not, not at all, the fair and upright observers they used to be.

    canopee | Switzerland