The Olympics are supposed to be dedicated to the ideals of excellence and sportsmanship. A celebration of the pinnacles of athleticism, mankind’s greatest sporting achievements. These guys? Yeah, these guys are definitely not that.
See, if you thought the whole Ryan Lochte “robbery” scandal was the most embarrassing story to come out of the Rio Olympics so far, you’d be wrong. Turns out, there’s already been two moments that are way, way worse. And just like Lochte, both were captured on video. We try to break down which deserves to win the Embarrassing Olympics Moment Gold below.
Race Walking’s Number Two Finish
Supposedly Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics, said “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part.” We have a feeling Yohann Diniz of France might call bullshit on that one.
Here’s what happened, in case you haven’t been following the thrilling sport of Olympic race walking: Diniz, the reigning world-record holder went into today’s 50k event only to quickly go from number one to… doing a number two all over the course. A heavy favourite heading into the race, Diniz tried to power through the gastrointestinal distress, before collapsing on the pavement and finishing a distant 11th. But hey, at least it didn’t happen in the pool. The Rio water’s already bad enough.
Embarrassment Level: No doubt, crapping your pants on live TV in front of the whole world is definitely embarrassing. But if you’re looking for a silver lining, at least no one we know actually watches Olympic race walking.
A Real Boner on the Pole Vault
One of the biggest draws of watching the Olympics is knowing us mere mortals could never come close to catching Usain Bolt in the hundred meters, or Penny Oleksiak in the pool. But give us a couple tries, and we’re pretty sure we’d be able to embarrass ourselves on the pole vault as badly as Japan’s Hiroki Ogita did earlier this week.
To clarify: in pole vaulting, you are allowed to graze the bar with any body part (other than your hands). But Ogita didn’t just touch the bar during Tuesday’s qualifier round, he got to second base with it, knocking the bar down with his own, well, pole. After a foul and a redo, the Japanese track and field star would eventually clear the 5.3-meter bar, getting as high as 5.45 meters, but in the end, he just couldn’t get it up enough, finishing 21st overall.
Embarrassment Level: Remember those middle school slow dances? This is kind of like that recurring nightmare, only if the entire world was pointing and laughing at your crotch instead of just the entire school.
It came down to a photo finish, but Diniz’s race walking “accident” takes home the gold.