Joanna Schroeder breaks down the top 12 terrible moments of the 2012 Olympic Summer games.
This year, the Olympics had a lot of glorious moments: Michael Phelps winning more Olympic medals than anyone in history, Usain Bolt being the first person ever to win both the 100m and 200m sprints two Olympics in a row, USA Women’s Gymnastics Teams incredible victories… Liam Day did an awesome job summing up some of our favorite moments in his awesome list, 10 transcendent Moments of the 2012 Olympics.
But like all Olympic years, there were some legendarily bad moments too. Gaffes, punches, scandals and more. Here we count down the top 12 “best” worst moments in the 2012 Summer Olympics:
12. Ryan Lochte’s Grillz: Not only did the awesome Olympic super-swimmer wear a diamond grill on the podium to receive his gold medal, the dude had originally planned to wear a red, white, and blue jewel-encrusted grill, but was told he would be disqualified if he did. I’m all for patriotism, but I think this is getting a little out of hand.
11. The Big Mouths – Hope Solo and Usain Bolt: These awesome athletes made every list of greatest Olympic moments, and very rightfully so. But each of them could’ve done with a bit more humility.
While most of Usain Bolt’s antics, like mugging for the camera before races, doing pushups after winning gold, or playing superman with the Jamaican flag are somewhat uncomfortably over-the-top, they are still funny and ultimately endearing.
However, in a now-famous gaffe, Usain Bolt called himself “the greatest athlete to live.”—Turns out that technically, the “Greatest Athlete” title usually goes to the winner of the Decathlon—in this case Ashton Eaton. Fortunately, Bolt apologized for this and admitted that while he himself is really great, he’s “got to give it to” Eaton (in a good way).
Hope Solo proved herself to be one of the greatest goalies in US Soccer history this summer with an amazing series of saves in the gold-medal match against Japan. She also proved a serious lack of respect for the women who made US Women’s Soccer what it is today, specifically Brandi Chastain who served as an NBC commentator. In a series of tweets, Solo slams Brandi Chastain with tweets like, “Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game” and suggesting that Chastain get more educated. In case you don’t know, Brandi Chastain was on the team that won the 1999 World Cup.
10. Everyone’s Obsession With the Alleged Olympic Boner: Olympic rower Henrik Rummel climbed out of his boat after the race of his life, and apparently his pants and business may have been a bit… umm… inflated. And like all great Olympic moments, there were about 8 billion cameras present to record the moment so that Rummel’s runner could go massively viral. But as former rower Tom Matlack said, “Anyone who thinks a guy who just raced an Olympic final was really thinking about some steamy porno scene in his mind’s eye needs to be checked into a mental hospital… Give the guy some Gatorade and leave him the heck alone.”
9. The Ryan Lochte Haterz: What’s worse? Ryan Lochte saying that he was glad he didn’t have a girlfriend this Olympics (presumably so he could romp around the Olympic Village with whatever international hotties he came across), or the way in which the guy got slammed for that and other goofy quotations?
Listen, I’m not saying I didn’t make a few jokes about the guy, but the way in which he (and his poor mother) were slammed for him just being his own somewhat-cheesy self seemed like plain ol’ hating, and it felt a little yucky.
8. The Worst Olympic Dive Ever: Poor Stephen Feck. I know if I were in the Olympics, I’d be the Stephen Feck. Get up there on that springboard, do a dive you’ve done at least 10,000 times and BAM! land smack-flat on your back. Cue every blogger on the planet feverishly searching YouTube for an embed code for the footage and suddenly you’ve got the worst moment of your life. Sigh. We still love you, Stephen.
7. Lolo Jones is hot, therefore she doesn’t deserve to be at the Olympics: Some idiot over at the New York Times decided to rip Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones a new one two days before her race, saying Jones has been getting a lot of media attention based upon her looks (and her admission a few years back that she was a virgin) instead of her skills.
He also compared her with Anna Kournikova who was world-famous despite never having won any tennis titles. As Jones pointed out, the writer didn’t even do his research. Jones is the current American indoor record-holder in her event. What’s worse, Lolo Jones let it get to her. She finished fourth.
6. Crying Russian Gymnasts: Oh, this was too sad. It seemed every five minutes the poor little high-cheekboned, blonde-headed Russian girls were crying about something terrible. One falls off the beam, another basically gives up midway through a vault… Yeah, they got smoked by Team USA, but the crying was just a bit much.
Upside? Urban Dictionary now has a new term: Crying Like a Russian Gymnast:
When one is repeatedly moved to tears after failing at an accomplishment they’ve worked tirelessly towards.
First noticed during the 2012 London Olympics when the Women’s Russian Gymnastics team were often shown crying after one anothers less than stellar performances…
Andy: Dude, why is Whitney wailing in her cubicle?
Shawn: Oh, the boss’ son got the promotion that she thought was hers. So now she’s crying like a Russian gymnast.
5. The Gabby Douglas Hair Criticism: When the talented and powerful teen gymnastic sensation Gabrielle Douglas first hit the Olympic stage, Twitter exploded with critiques of Douglas’ hair, including comments on her having a terrible half-wig and bemoaning how she wasn’t representing right. Fortunately, people fought back, and Douglas persevered to earn herself two gold medals. One of the first articles on the subject, by the awesome Monisha from SportyAfros.com summed it up:
Have we forgotten that Gabby is competing at Olympics XXX? This is not America’s Next Top Model that we’re watching. These ladies are participating in a global athletic competition. And the last time I checked when you play a sport, you sweat. I know I do. And when a Black woman who has chosen to wear her hair straight begins to sweat, her hair will (not might) begin to revert back to its natural coily, curly, or kinky state. Does Gabby need to stop every five minutes to check her hair? No.
4. Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps admit to peeing… in the Olympic pool: When Ryan Lochte told people that he pees in the pool when he’s swimming, a whole new firestorm about Lochte’s world-class douchebaggery took root. Luckily for him (but unluckily for the rest of us), Michael Phelps swooped in (as all great wingmen should) and admitted that he, too, pees in the Olympic pool and that almost all competitive swimmers do.
Non-swimming America let out a collective, “Ewww” and wished we’d been left ignorant of the secret bathroom habits of our Olympic heroes.
3. Tom Daley’s Twitter Troll: Team GB Olympic Diver Tom Daley is a hero in the UK, and had a famously close relationship with his father, who recently passed away of cancer. One f*ckwad teenaged Twitter troll decided to take the moment Daley came in 4th in the synchronized diving event to send a tweet to Daley telling him that his father was ashamed of him.
Daley retweeted the message, which garnered the attention of the police, who then reportedly took the troll into custody for harassment and threats. Unfortunately, as anyone who spends time on the Internet knows, the attention “fed the troll” who was released by Dorset police on bail, and eventually unblocked by Twitter only to return to the Twittersphere with this gem:
I’m not sory though i meant every word of what i said i hope Tom Daley loses his legs to meningitis
So that’s nice.
The good news, Daley competed in the individual event, for which he happily won Bronze. Even better? The kid’s so young he’s got another couple of Summer Olympics to show what he’s made of. And the troll? He’s got nothin’ but an arrest record and a bunch of Twitter followers.
2. Olympic punches – face and groin: Just when we were all adequately aghast at the sucker-punch a Colombian women’s soccer player pulled on USA’s Abby Wambach, the bar of ridiculously bad sportsmanship was raised another notch when Olympic basketball players began punching each other in the nuts. Slate magazine called it “Loinsanity!” and the rest of us called it simply un-Olympic.
GMP’s Liam Day, a former pro basketball player, explained what makes a groin punch about 100 times worse than any other foul in basketball:
The act of punching another man, one who is, moreover, in that moment, defenseless, is an act of cowardice. It is also an act of cheating. The only reason to punch a jump shooter in the groin is to throw off his shot, and by shot I don’t mean just that one shot, I mean the shooter’s motion, his rhythm, which will dictate all the shots he will take during the rest of the game, for if a shooter must worry about protecting his groin, he’s probably not concentrating all that much on his shooting motion. As a defender, you do this because you failed to find a way to defend the shooter within the rules.
And finally, while all of these 11 Olympic moments were terrible, there was one thing related to the Olympics that was much worse, something I think everybody can agree upon. It was such a huge controversy that Twitter even banned a user for speaking about it… The Number 1 Worst Olympic Moment?
1. The NBC tape-delay and subsequently unavoidable spoilers!
Am I right?!
What do you think of our Top 10 Worst Olympic Moments? Did we miss any?* Which terrible Olympic moment do you think will go down in history as the absolute worst?
*A last-minute addition! My cousin Ann rightfully pointed out a glaring omission in both my list and national coverage:
The #1 worst moment came in the semifinal women’s fencing competition when a 15 year old volunteer time keeper screwed up costing one woman a chance for the gold. She protested, but the protest wasn’t ruled in her favor. Then she lost the bronze metal match.