4 Shameful Moments in Olympics History

From Berlin to Munich and beyond, terror and tragedy at the Summer Games.

(Page 2 of 5)

4. Trial by media for hero in Atlanta bombing

On July 27, 1996, a week into the Summer Olympics, a security guard found a suspicious package at Centennial Olympic Park and alerted state law enforcement. This being before the days of “see something, say something,” the media jumped on the security guard, Richard Jewell, as the likely suspect—based on word that the FBI was treating him as a “person of interest.” The media frenzy led to lawsuits by victims of the bombing (it killed one and injured 11) against Richard Jewell. Domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph was eventually charged with and sentenced for the crime, after bombing two abortion clinics in the Atlanta area in 1997, and Jewell sued both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and NBC News, the network which happens to have held exclusive U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics since 1988.

NEXT: Black Power Out in 1968

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  • Tulpa Doom||

    Good article for the most part, but WTF about that final paragraph.

    Failing to have a moment of silence for the 1972 victims = Anti-Semitism?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    the presence (and punishment) of an anti-Semitic athlete is anti-Semitism, too?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Stormy Dragon||

    No, but saying you can't do it because it would bring down the mood when the opening ceremony is supposed to be a celebration, but then include a somber tribute to the 7/7 victims makes people wonder. When you're already including a memorial segment, there seems little reason not to include the Israelis.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It would appear that I can't view this as a single page, but that can't be the case because if it was then that would only mean that Reason wants me to totally lose my shit and I can't picture that being the case.

  • Ed||

    You're not looking hard enough.

  • Brutus||

    The Lebanese judo team also objected to practicing in a place within sight of those dirty Jooz from Israel. Rather than tell them tough shit, the IOC helpfully put up a screen so the Lebanese wouldn't have to sully their view with Jewish scenery.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So if they don't force straight athletes to watch gay men having sex, I guess that means they're homophobic.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Really, Tulpa?

    Really?

  • ||

    This kind of abject stupidity is normal to this moron. Why do you people pay any attention to him?

  • SugarFree||

    OK... the final scores are in... 9.8, 9.7, 9.9, WOW AND A PERFECT TEN!

    This is it folks! You are witnessing commenting history! I give you THE DUMBEST FUCKING THING TULPA HAS EVER SAID!

    Don't change that channel, you folks at home... you won't want to miss his dying on this hill.

  • ||

    Maybe he can write a defense for it on his gay little blog. What's that? He deleted it already? Oh, that's sad.

  • ||

    I thought this day would never come. I mean, Tulpa's said some of the dumbest shit ever, so I had little hope of him topping himself. Yet here he is, proving me wrong. I'm glad I was here to see this.

  • SugarFree||

    I wish you could see the tears of joy streaming down my face. What a day, what a day.

  • tarran||

    I wish you could see the tears of joy streaming down my face. What a day, what a day.

    Honestly, why do you guys even bother reading his quarter-assed attempts at Socratic questioning?

    Filter his inane shit and recover the lost minutes of your lives.

  • JW||

    He's the Michael Phelps of imbecility.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    SF, you have made 'troll flogging' an art form with this one. I salute you. I am also cleaning my monitor. Coffee is bad for the electronics.

  • RBS||

    The one thing that really stands out is Avery Brundage is a giant asshole.

  • NeonCat||

    Didn't he fuck over Jim Thorpe as well?

  • John||

    He was a team mate of Thropes and spent decades making sure Thrope's medals were not reinstated. It wasn't until the old bastard died that they were.

  • Loki||

  • John||

    Wow. Never hear that on the news shows.

  • Voros McCracken||

    I have heard this story many times. There's not really much to say about it other than the idea of "narrative" having such a huge effect on our perception of history.

    Hitler was a racist monster and so it's easy to construct the prevailing narrative about Owens in 1936 around that. It just so happens that this narrative is incorrect.

    Most pernicious about it is the idea that someone trying to correct this misconception much be operating from some sinister ulterior motive. The truth is that Hitler was also a politician, and having the games he was hosting degenerate into a political an ethnic quagmire would have been contrary to his political interests.

  • JeremyR||

    But that's unpossible - FDR and Truman were democrats, while Eisenhower was an evil, racist Republican! (And who had Patton killed with his secret death squad)

  • BMFPitt||

    And, faced with an Olympic rule against avoiding competitors based on nationality, a top Iranian judo competitor withdrew from a competition in which he might have faced an Israeli athlete.

    That sounds more like him being a pussy than any kind of protest.

  • Bernieyeball||

    I did not then nor do I now think the Black Power Salute displayed by Smith and Carlos was shameful. Only four years after the murders of Civil Rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman by American Terrorists in Mississippi I consider the gesture an appropriate tribute to the victims of racism in the United States.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I think the article was saying the IOC response to the salute is what was shameful, not the salute itself.

  • JeremyR||

    Yeah, but is countering racism with racism the answer?

  • Bernieyeball||

    The raised fist is not always black.
    Why are you obsessed with race?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/b.....034272585/

  • Xenocles||

    I'm not sure I can fault them for "allowing" the Nazi salute. At the time it wasn't unique to the Nazis - you can look up pictures of American kids doing the same gesture while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The guy on the podium (page 4) is probably just saluting his flag in the manner of his culture, much like Owens was.

  • ftw||

    Five pages? Really?
    This would suck to read on mobile. Luckily, it's impossible to read the desktop site via mobile....

  • jmpt||

    Sad thing is that the mobile managed to put it all into one page...

  • Stephdumas||

    We could wonder what if the 1968 Olympics was held in Detroit instead of Mexico? http://www.detroitnews.com/art...../207300322

  • jmpt||

    So, Welsh contributions to British Culture = the NHS? Seems like a pretty racist accusation to me...

    Man, I started typing that as a joke, but it is a pretty crummy thing to have lumped them together.

  • markeric||

    This is really a good post. Thanks for sharing this information. I am sure lot of people will benefit from it.
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