Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?


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Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 06, 2003 6:58 pm

With everyone discussing the best athlete(s) never to win the gold, how about someone chiming in on the worst athlete, or the "least deserving" athlete to grab the top prize at the games?

Someone told me once they thought Lindy Remigino was the worst. I think he's just one of the biggest upsets.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby stevehj197 » Mon Oct 06, 2003 7:56 pm

how about Jerome Biffle that same year in the LJ
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Arnie » Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:26 pm

They were right Lindy gets my vote.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:05 pm

Patoulidou, '92 100H
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby jhc68 » Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:14 pm

Lyn Davies was clearly a terrific athlete, it is not easy to say he was the "worst" at anything. But he was not even close to being in the same class with Boston or Ter-O at the '64 games. The rains came, though, and Davies came away a winner.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Powell » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:50 pm

Josy Barthel
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:57 am

Oh come on, the clear "winner" here is Amos Biwott.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Slowrunner » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:04 am

I'm thinking Ria Stalman or maybe Benita Fitzgerald-Brown.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby larwood » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:55 am

I agree, it is hard to pass the ineptitude of
Biwott.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:05 am

Jeez, you guys are thinking way too contemporary (although Peter Rono leaps to mind). There are lots of early OG champs who never accomplished much of anything else.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Pego » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:06 am

How about Thomas Munkelt, GDR, 110H '80 and Juha Tiainen, Finland, hammer '84?
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:15 am

Harold Abrahams, 100m gold medal in 1924.

I know he is the hero of Chariots of Fire, but he did little before the '24 games and nothing after his victory.

In fact, later in the very same Olympics (after he won the 100) he finished 6th in the 200 final and was beaten by 2 yards by the U.S. runner on the opening leg of the 4x1.

Retired the following year after a thigh injury sustained while long jumping.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:28 am

"There are lots of early OG champs who never accomplished much of anything else."

This is, of course, entirely true; a result of the fact that the first several OG were (athletically speaking) utterly inconsequential. In this particular hall of shame, we're focusing on the more recent "undeserving" because this--supposedly--is the era in which the OG is the ULTIMATE of ALL SPORT.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby 6 5.5hjsteve » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:43 am

Replying to the last few threads, if we are going to pick the "worst" winner, it's noit really fair to get down on people like Munkelt and Taienen ( sp. ?). Not there fault others were not there.

And as to the "early days" to my mind "modern Track " started in LA in 1932.

So let's try to pick the worst from 1932 through 2000, ignoring ( sadly ) 1980 and 1984. True to a lesser extent for 1976 as well.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Pego » Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:00 am

<Not there fault others were not there.>

I guess, Steve, you are right. On the other hand, if everybody showed up, the winner clearly was "the best on the given day" regardless of accomplishments before or after :-)
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:42 am

Viktor Rashchupkin, TD 1980, maybe his only win in international copetition.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:03 am

"And as to the "early days" to my mind "modern Track " started in LA in 1932."

Wow: you've got high standards. I'd suggest a date more like 1912...
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby 6 5.5hjsteve » Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:54 am

just depends on your definition of "modern." Purely subjective emotion.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 11:18 am

True. I actually would vote for LE Myers & WG George in the 1880s as the first truly "modern" track athletes. The sport took a big step backward with the establishment of the AAU, imposition of hardcore amateurism rules, etc. But, as they say, that's another story...
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby waynehobley » Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:20 pm

Kederis. I still dont think he sould have run. Mike was supposedly injured at the trials. Mo was a jack ass and did that fake pull up thing after Mike in the trials and John Capel messed up on his start.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:25 pm

"Mike was supposedly injured at the trials. Mo was a jack ass and did that fake pull up thing after Mike in the trials"

What makes you think that they weren't really hurt?
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Jon » Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:14 pm

It's not so much that Nouriah Mérah was one of the "worst athletes", but her win in the Sydney OG 1500m was quite a shock (beating Szekely, Szabo, Holmes, Chojecka and Runyan). 2000 was undoubtedly Mérah's best season, but her winning time (4:05) was hardly spectacular and well inside the capabilities of most of the other athletes in that race.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:35 pm

>Kederis. I still dont think he sould have run.

????? I guess you mean "have won"? He certainly had the right to run!

No offence, but I don't think this topic is very fair for the athletes. You make it sound like their accomplishment was nothing.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Jon » Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:38 pm

>No offence,
>but I don't think this topic is very fair for the
>athletes. You make it sound like their
>accomplishment was nothing.





I agree. "Biggest shock Olympic win" would be more appropriate. Surely, anyone who wins an Olympic gold medal, doesn't really deserve to be associated with the word "worst" (when used in this context).
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:36 pm

Beamon. Did he ever jump within 9 feet of that again?
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:09 pm

Al Joyner.
He was a bigger surprise than Beamon.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby waynehobley » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:12 pm

I agree.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:17 pm

Every racewalker, every year.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby waynehobley » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:56 pm

AMEN TO THAT.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:18 pm

Oh yeah, this is a bandwagon worth getting on!
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby MDC » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:42 pm

Since the question didn't specify the summer games, my vote goes to the Aussie speed skater Steven Bradbury who took gold in the men's 1,000 metre short track event in 2002. I'm sure you remember this:

"In one of the most bizarre races in Olympic history, Bradbury was well back in fifth and last position going into the final turn before the finish line. But the leading skater, American Apollo Anton Ono, was touched by the Chinese skater, who was in second place and attempting to pass. Both skaters fell and the Korean and Canadian skaters behind them crashed into the leading pair and all four slid off the track leaving an open line for Bradbury, who pumped his arms in victory as he crossed the line. The judges held a short deliberation and decided to let the result stand."
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:47 pm

"I don't think this topic is very fair for the athletes. You make it sound like their accomplishment was nothing."

Lighten up! We're not saying their accomplishment was "nothing"--we're saying it was utterly undeserved, dumb luck, a ridiculous fluke, whatever. Pretending that these immediately-forgotten OG gold medalists are all timeless "greats" is like saying every jackpot winner in Vegas is a financial genius. They ain't! And further, these folks don't need your defense: they have their gold medals, after all...and we don't!
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Per Andersen » Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:46 pm

I suppose Klyugin was somewhat lucky to win the H.J. in Sydney before the rain washed them all away. But Beamon was no surprise winner and Josy Barthel was clearly the best 1500 runner in '52. Who should have won that 1500m if not Barthel?
I think Remigino was ranked 1st in '52. Art Bragg was injured, so what?
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:57 pm

>"I don't think this topic is very fair for the
>athletes. You make it sound like their
>accomplishment was nothing."

Lighten up!
>We're not saying their accomplishment was
>"nothing"--we're saying it was utterly
>undeserved, dumb luck, a ridiculous fluke,
>whatever. Pretending that these
>immediately-forgotten OG gold medalists are all
>timeless "greats" is like saying every jackpot
>winner in Vegas is a financial genius. They
>ain't! And further, these folks don't need your
>defense: they have their gold medals, after
>all...and we don't!

Now, who needs to lighten up? Yes, we don't have a gold medal, that is why we appreciate them. Anyway, this is a dead end argument.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:14 pm

Well, Kenteris did win the WC's the next year ...

Biwott and Remigino stand out.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:17 pm

yeah, several from '80 & 84. Thanks, Jimmy
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:35 am

<who took gold in the men's 1,000 metre short track event in 2002>

Short track skating is more of a roller derby circus than sport. It should be kicked out of the Games without delay (together with a few other newer additions).
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Slowrunner » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:48 am

>Al Joyner.
He was a bigger surprise than
>Beamon.

Joyner's winning jump was wind aided, Conley's silver medal leap was not.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 10, 2003 1:40 pm

One way to look at this (post-WWII only) is to use World Rankings. You can't rank #1 on the strength of an Olympic victory alone -- if the rest of your season sucked, it's taken into consideration. So while guys like Remigino or Biwott may have been one-off successes, they were at least decent for the remainder of that Olympic season.

I don't feel like spending a lot of time on this, so I won't make an exhaustive search. So far I haven't found an Olympic champion with less credentials than Peter Rono -- #5 in his championship season of 1988 and nothing else. If you're willing to count boycotted Olympics, you can't top Ria Stalman, the '84 women's DT champ -- her only ranking ever was that year at #10.
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Re: Worst athlete to win Olympic Gold?

Postby Powell » Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:06 pm

Jean Galfione was ranked 6th in 1996 - that's the lowest ranking of a non-boycott Olympic champion I can think of.
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