The Top Five Controversial Moments In Olympics History

C KSenior Analyst IAugust 21, 2008

Note: I will be editing in my honorable mentions in the morning, so if you read this article, be sure to come back and see my honorable mentions, in which I will give some kind of summary of those events as well.

For my first article at Bleacher Report, I want to stick with the top story in the sports world right now. The Olympics.

But I wanted to make an article that was, well, different.

So I decided to write about the 5 most controversial moments in Olympic history.

At no. 5, I have the 1994 Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan saga. It all started when Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee in the Olympic trials on January 6th. Then on January 14th, three were charged with assault on Kerrigan. Next on January 19th, Harding's ex-husband was charged in the attack. Then Harding admits knowledge of the attack while it was being plotted on January 27th. And then Jeff Gillooly (now Jeff Stone) pleads guilty and says Harding approved the assault on February 1st. But that wasn't all; On February 12th Harding made a deal that put here in the Olympics just as they began. Then Kerrigan and Harding actually practiced together on February 17th. Next, Kerrigan wins silver and Harding finishes 8th on February 25th. And finally, Harding admits her part in the assault in plea bargain and avoids prison on March 16th, but is stripped of here title and banned for life on June 30th.

At no. 4, I have the 1988 South Korean Boxing Fix. Roy Jones Jr. clearly dominated his Korean opponent in this gold medal match, Park Si-Hun, in three rounds, landing 86 punches to Si-Hun's 32. Yet Park Si-Hun won the match by a 3-2 decision in the light-middleweight division. But that one match wasn't all. In the bantamweight division, Byun Jong-il, another Korean boxer, thought that he had the medal locked up because of the fix, but he was beaten so bad, the judges had to award his Bulgarian opponent with the victory. He refused to leave the ring for 67 minutes until organizers turned off all of the lights.

What's even worse is the fact that Jones Jr. ended up winning the Val Barker Trophy as the most impressive boxer of the games.

By the way, Park did allegedly apologize to Jones Jr. after the match and the three judges ruling against Jones were found out to be wined and dined by Korean officials before the match, and the judges were eventually suspended.

At no. 3, I have the The Grand Prix Priest incident. It all started when Neil Horan, the "Grand Prix Priest" decided to make another big splash at a sporting event following his 2003 Grand Prix incident. He decided to make this splash at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He ran onto the course of the men's marathon event holding a sign saying "The Grand Prix priest. Israel fulfillment of prophecy says the Bible, the second coming is near."and pushed Vanderlei de Lima from Brazil off into the crowd. de Lima was winning the race at the time of the event, but because of Horan, lost his lead. de Lima did get back into the race quickly, but could not recover and finished 3rd. You would expect de Lime to be frustraded and angry after the race, but as he finished the race, he looked like the happiest man on Earth. He ran around like a kid on Christmas. He had the Brazilian flag on his back and ran around the stadium. de Lima was later given the Pierre de Coubertin Medalfor his sportsmanship. Horan was given a 12 month suspended sentence and was fined 3,000 Euro's. On July 1st, 2005, Brazilian beach volleyball player Emanuel Rego gave his 2004 gold medal to de Lima on television, yet de Lima returned saying "I can't accept Emanuel's medal. I'm happy with mine, it's bronze but means gold".

At no. 2, I have the 1972 Gold Medal Basketball Match Controversy. During the course of the game it was clear that the officials had been favoring the Russians, who were playing the Americans for the gold medal in basketball. With three seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Doug Collins of America sank two free throws, even though horn that usually signalled the end of the game " accidentally" sounded on his second free throw. The Americans were now leading the Russians 50-49. The Russians failed to score of the inbound, but an official had stopped the game with one second left after seeing that there was a disturbance at the scorer's table after the horn was sounded on the free throw. The Russians argued that they had called a time-out before Collins' free throws. The three seconds was put back on the clock. Then play was resumed and the Russians failed to score and the Americans began to celebrate. But, the clock was reset to 3 seconds again because the clock was being set when play started. This time, the Russians scored and won the game. The U.S. quickly filed a protest but lost the protest in a 3-2 decision against the U.S. with the 3 countries voting against the U.S. being apart of the Communist party. So then the U.S. team voted unanimously to refuse their silver medals and several members of the team have included in their will that their heirs are never to accept the medals.

At no. 1, I have the Black Panther Salute at the 1968 Olympic games. It all started when Tommie Smith and John Carlos won medals in the same event. On the podium, each took their shoes off and work black socks. And as the National Anthem was played, each held a hand up in a fist with a black glove on it with their heads bowed. The black socks represented black poverty and the black glove represent black power. After the event, the IOC ordered their suspension from the U.S. team and their banishment from the Olympic Village. After the U.S. Olympic Committee refused, the IOC threatened to ban the entire U.S. track team. The U.S. Olympic Committee
had no choice but to suspend the two and ban them from the Olympic Village. After the event, the two Olympians were threatened by many but never attacked. Also, after the event the two became the biggest sports story in the U.S. for a long time garnering a lot of media attention.

So that's it. You may agree with me, you may disagree. Either way, I hope you comment below and share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article.