Golden Moments

The Other History of the Olympics

Montreal 1976Diuedone Lamothe of Haiti finishes last in his heat in the 5000-meter run, with a time of 18:50:07—the slowest in Olympic history. He earned his slot at the Games by being a political ally of Haitian president Baby Doc Duvalier. Of course, the dictator threatened to kill him if he didn't finish.

Montreal 1976Soviet fencer Boris Onyschenko is caught using an illegal épée, which includes a hidden circuit breaker that allows him to score points even when he doesn't touch his opponent. After his disqualification, he is immediately spirited back to Russia as some observers suggest he was using an illegal weapon for six years.

Moscow 1980 Vladimir Lipitsky of Russia is stabbed through the chest in the team foil competition, his opponent's blade nicking a blood vessel but missing his heart. Two years later, his teammate Vladimir Smirnov dies when the tip of West German Matthias Behr's foil snaps off and pierces Smirnov's mask, eyeball, and brain.

Los Angeles 1984Italian track star Gabriela Dorio is given a wine bath by her husband, who is merely holding up his end of a pre-race bet after Gabriela wins the women's 1500 meters.

Seoul 1988 Soviet gymnast Dmitri Bilozerchev wins two gold medals, only three years after a near-fatal car accident. After winning the 1985 European championships, the newly licensed Russian got trashed and drove his father's car in front of a speeding truck. Following his Olympic victory, he goes on another drinking binge and is thrown off the team for being a corrupting influence on his teammates.

Barcelona 1992Japanese marksman Rhyohei Kobe declares that to train for the Games, in which he wins a bronze medal, he not only gave up drinking, but also gave up karaoke singing.

Atlanta 1996Three months before the Games, Brazilian heavyweight judo fighter Edinanci Silva undergoes an operation to remove her vestigial testicles and reduce the size of her clitoris in an effort to pass the IOC's archaic gender testing.

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