As the London Olympics is coming to a close, we take a look at the controversies that took place during the past week. The First part of this article has covered various controversies that took place in the first week.
Eight Badminton players expelled for purposefully losing
Badminton often plays second fiddle to other sports when it comes to the Olympic Games but for a short period, it was the most talked about sports in the world – sadly, for the wrong reasons.
Four Badminton Women’s doubles teams were expelled from the event as they purposefully tried to lose in order to get favorable draws in the next round. Two teams from South Korea, one from Indonesia and the World Doubles Champions from China were the four teams that were expelled from the event.
The Badminton World Federation stated that these teams were expelled for “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport”
Lolo Jones and the New York Times article
On the opening day of the London Olympics, US Track and Field Athlete Lolo Jones commented “USA Men’s Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that’s ok, we are Americans… When’s da Gun shooting competition?”
A Tweet which was totally fine and was intended to be humorous got the attention of the media. People around the world thought that the comment was insensitive and Lolo once again tweeted “sorry u guys only think of violence but I think of all the hunting I do w southerners in da south. Its impressive.”
A harmless tweet went viral and Lolo was unfairly targeted.
Two days before the 100 m hurdles, Lolo Jones’ event started, the New York Times ran an article which literally tore Lolo into pieces. Few lines from the article are quoted below
Lolo Jones has received more attention than any other American track and field athlete based on what some have called a cynical marketing strategy that is long on hyperbole and short on achievement.
The article went on and stated that Lolo Jones was the Anna Kournikova of Athletics. Lolo missed the bronze by one hundredth of a second and in a interview, she claimed, “They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds. I just thought that that was crazy because I worked six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race and the fact that they just tore me apart, which is heartbreaking.”
Shameful refereeing in Boxing
At this level of professional competition, you expect only the Athletes to grab the headlines. But the case was different at the Boxing Arena. As many as 12 Boxing bouts were controversial for various reasons and these hurt India the most.
Vikas won his match against Errol Spence of USA 13-11 but hours after the event, the result was overturned and the match was awarded to Spence.
In what was termed as a “daylight robbery”, Sangwan lost his match 14-15 after being superb throughout the match. The appeal made by the Indian team was rejected by the jury. Manoj Kumar too was a victim of the refereeing errors as he lost his match 16-20.
The Olympic Flame is invisible
One of the most anticipated event during the Olympic games is the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. People from around the globe come to the games just to take a picture of them standing before the Olympic Torch.
But, this time, the cauldron is kept at ground level in the corner of the Olympic Stadium. From a distance, it will most probably look like a campfire.
The British Organizers though have stood by their decision and have offered people some solace by showing the cauldron in giant screens across the country.
USA – Canada Women’s Football Match
It was the semifinals of the Women’s Football match between Canada and USA. Canada were leading 3-2 and the match was around 12 minutes from completion. Canada’s Goalie Erin McLeod held the ball for more than 6 seconds leading to an indirect freekick to the United States. The freekick resulted in a handball and a penalty was awarded. Abby Wambach scored the penalty to tie the score at 3-3. The game went on to extra time and with only a minute left, USA scored to win the game 4-3.
The Canadian players were furious after the game and their Captain Christine Sinclair went on to comment “the ref decided the result before the game started.” Mel Tancredi, another Canadian Player said to the referee “I hope you can sleep tonight and put on your American jersey.”