Hello and welcome back to another DailyTop10s Top 10 Video. Today we’re looking at the Olympics. A test of human strength, courage and, occasionally, stupidity.
10. Champagne Marathon
In the 1908 marathon, a South-African runner looked set to take the glory. But then he took a glass of Champagne from a spectator. Nearing dehydration, and with an empty stomach, the alcohol made him sick and caused him to lose the lead, giving way to an Italian named Pietri.
But Pietri was just as ill and upon entering the stadium for the final lap, he lost his way and began running in the opposite direction. Several officials had to direct him and also helped him to his feet when he collapsed several times in the final sprint. He still made it across the line in first place, but he was later disqualified because he had received assistance.
9. Slow and Steady
The phrase “slow and steady wins the race” is not just something your mother told you to make you feel better about the fact that you were fat, slow and useless. That mantra worked for swimmer Eric Moussambani in 2000, when he discovered that he could win the race regardless of how fast he went.
All of his competitors had been disqualified during the 100-meter freestyle, leaving Eric to slowly swim the length of the pool and back again, sputtering and flailing all the way. As it happens, Eric had only known how to swim for a few months, which explains why he very nearly didn’t make it to the end and why his personal best was more than twice the competitive time.
In the 1988 Seoul Games, South Korean boxing Byun Jong-Il threw a tantrum of epic proportions, and one that we hoped resulted in him being sent to bed without any supper.
The Korean head-butted his opponent and was immediately disqualified, as is to be expected. Except, Byun Jong-Il wasn’t happy with the decision and he protested it to the bitter end. As everyone left the ring and got on with their lives, he refused. And he remained in that ring even when the lights were turned out in the arena.
7. Fat Loser
In the 1936 Games, boxer Thomas Hamilton-Brown lost a lightweight contest against Carlos Lillo following a very controversial decision. After that, Hamilton-Brown realised that his dream was over for another 4 years at least, so he decided to pig-out, as many of us would do.
Luckily for him, the decision was reversed overnight and Hamilton-Brown progressed through to the next round. Unluckily for him, that binge meant that he couldn’t make the weight anymore, so he was disqualified as a result.
6. Low Blow
At the 2000 Sydney Games, something strange was happening in the gym. Gymnasts were missing the vault left, right and centre. They were off, and they were poor, and hilarious, as a result.
They then discovered that the vault had been set at the wrong height and organisers made the corrections, but it was already too late for many competitors. Their scores and their confidence had bene affected, and their dreams of a gold medal were over for another few years.
5. Dan and Dave
in the lead-up to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Reebok went all out. They hired two star athletes, Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson, and they ran the “Dan and Dave” campaign. They spent a total of $30 million, a ridiculous sum of money even now, and their goal was to build interest prior to the games and then watch as this paid off during the games.
But the one thing they didn’t account for, was the fact that Dan O’Brien didn’t qualify for the 1999 Olympic games. Reebok managed to salvage some respect thanks to Dave Johnson, but this campaign was a massive loss for the brand.
4. North or South
It’s fair to say that North Korea and South Korea don’t get along. You know how it is. Things were said. Mistakes were made. And now they both want to wipe each other off the face of the earth.
So, as the North Korea women’s football team lined up during the 2012 London Olympics, they weren’t best pleased when the big screen showed their names and faces alongside the South Korean flag. This mix-up was hilarious to most of us, but not to North Korea. And we genuinely thought those guys had a sense of humour. How else would you explain their leader?
3. Missing Runner
In the 1912 Stockholm Games, a Japanese runner lost consciousness during the Marathon, with the heat and the exertion becoming too much for him. A kind local family took him in and looked after him until he was better.
However, the organisers of the event knew nothing of this, and they knew nothing of what happened to him over the next 50 years either. It wasn’t until the 1960s that someone finally tracked him down and learned that he had returned to Japan as soon as he was well enough.
The organisers asked him if he wanted to finish the race, and he accepted, recording a time of 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours and 32 minutes.
2. Minor Medal
In 1900, American Margaret Abbott was in Paris, enjoying the sights with her mother. While there, she decided to enter a local golf tournament, playing 9-holes. Abbott went on to win the event, and considering it was on such a small scale and was so poorly put-together, she didn’t think much of it. However, without realising it, Abbott had just become the first ever female gold medalist in the Olympic Games.
The event was so poorly organised that even the competitors didn’t know it was part of the Olympics, and even though she would live for another 55 years, Abbott never found out either.
1. Tunisia Pentathlon
At the 1960 Games, Tunisia were set to make an impact on the modern pentathlon, but not in the way that they would have hoped. There were three athletes representing their country that year: Bouzid, Ben Azzabi and Ennachi, also known as the Three Stooges.
In the shooting segment they were all disqualified for shooting too close to the judges, and then they all fell of their horses during the show jumping. One of them nearly died during the swimming and, to top it off, they were caught cheating during the fencing, when their best fencer stepped in for the other two as well as himself, hoping no one would notice that the same man was fighting under three different names.
Thanks for watching!