Olympians who refused their medals

Sportspersons all across the world have a single goal, to win a medal in Olympics. But there are few who said “no thank you” to them.

Olympics is said to be the most important sporting event in the world where athletes from across the globe meet and compete every four years. It is the dream of almost every athlete to stand on the podium with a medal. They literally give their blood, sweat and tears just for this honour. But there have been instances in the history of the Olympics when winners have refused their medals. Sounds impossible? Please have a read.

Ara Abrahamian

In the Beijing Olympics in the year 2008, Swedish wrestlerAra Abrahamian was competing in the semifinal for a bout in the 84kg wrestling event. He lost the match, which he considered as “an error in judgement” from referees. He was so upset by the result that he had to be restrained by the officials, and then he decided not to participate in the bronze medal match. He changed his mind and won the match. But in the award ceremony, standing on the podium, he removed the medal from his neck, dropped it and turned away. He was disqualified by IOC and was stripped of the medal.

Men’s basketball team of USA

In Munich Olympics in the year 1972, the teams from the Soviet Union and the United States competed in the final of basketball. Everything was going fine till halftime, and suddenly, things went sour. According to International rules, a team cannot call a timeout after a throw, so the USSSR team inbounded the ball. The coach and the bench of the Soviet Union demanded a timeout, and the referee from Bulgaria stopped the clock with a remaining second. The Soviets were denied a timeout but were allowed to re-inbound the ball. After the Soviet’s pass was deflected, the buzzer sounded, and the US team began their celebration. Suddenly, R. William Jones, secretary-general of the International Amateurs Basketball Federation, came to the scorer’s table and ordered the extra time for the Soviets and gave them extra three seconds. Long story short, referees complied with the request, even though Jones had to authority to do so, and the Soviet Union won the gold. After this unfair match, the US team refused their medals and boycotted the award ceremony. So much so that the players even had provisions written in their will that none of their descendants would ever accept that medal.

Did you know about these shocking incidents?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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