By Christopher Bethea.
The London 2012 Olympic Games has seen many champions. Champions such as Usain Bolt, Gabby Douglas, and Serena Williams are household names in their respective sport, but what about those who lost to them? Here are some of their harrowing stories of televised dishonor.
10. Maria Sharapova (Russia): Her dream to win the gold medal in Women’s Tennis was shattered by Serena Williams in the gold medal round. She lost both sets in a little over an hour – which was quicker than any of the other times Serena had beaten her.
9. Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team: Team USA in women’s soccer came from the bottom to then take the lead to win the 4-3 game during overtime after a clutch goal from Abby Wambach. The worst part of it is not the goal, but it happened during the semifinal match to advance to the gold medal round.
8. John Orozco (USA): With an entire borough on his shoulders, his failure to capture a medal in Men’s Gymnastics was not only disappointing to Bronx fans, but to every person who thought that he would be the next Kemba Walker.
7. McKayla Maroney (USA): Her performance was a pain in the backside during the individual Women’s Vault competition. She earned a Silver medal after landing flat on her butt on the last attempt. She was the fan-favorite to win gold until Sandra Izbasa of Romania took the lead.
6. Kohei Uchimura (Japan): Talking about falling off the high horse, his performance on the pummel horse during the Men’s Gymnastics team competition caused his team the gold medal after his premature dismount.
5. Viktoria Komova (Russia): She’s the gymnast who lost to Gabrielle Douglas in the individual competition. Despite her near-perfect performance in the floor exercise, she lost by less than a point – which was by far the saddest silver medal win for Russia.
4. Nigeria’s Men’s Basketball Team: In Men’s Basketball, Team USA beat Nigeria as if the team was responsible for their shorten season. Their ridiculous 156- 73 victory against Nigeria had set an Olympic record for most three-point shots made, the highest point total and the highest margin of victory.
3. Noor Al-Malki (Qatar): One of the first female athletes to represent Qatar in the Olympic Games pulled a hamstring during her qualifying race in the 100 meters. She was immediately disqualified after being carried off the track by officials. Perhaps this proves that “break a leg” is not a good phrase to say to someone before their race.
2. Team USA’s Track and Field: How does a team tie the world record in the 4×100 meter relay and still lose the race? Despite the efforts of Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, the Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt led their team to victory by outrunning the American team by .2 seconds – which is about 2 minutes in a track race.
1. Michael Phelps (USA): Although he’s not what most people consider to be a loser, his retirement from swimming ended an era of greatness. After winning a gold medal in his 4×100 meters medley relay, he retired with Olympic records for having the most gold medals and the most Olympic medals overall. He will be remembered as arguably the greatest Olympian of all time.