Whether it be serious injuries, wardrobe malfunctions or even athletes losing their lives, we’ve seen the Olympics get a little too real for television multiple times. In fact, did you know that seven Olympians have passed away during the sporting event? Yes, we love the Olympic Games but it certainly comes with lots of risks as we’ve seen in the past. In this article, we relive some of those troubling moments with Olympic footage that shouldn’t have made TV.
We’ll examine different incidents throughout the article. For one, we’ll take a look at some of the more intense injuries. Secondly, we’ll dive into some of the worst wardrobe malfunctions – whether that would be a runner “letting go” in his attire or body parts getting exposed for millions watching at home to see. And lastly, we’ll take a look at other controversial incidents to take place, we’ll even wrap the article with a tragic passing that took place during the Vancouver Games.
Enjoy folks and like always, be sure to share the article with a friend. Without further ado, here are 15 times the Olympics got too real for TV. Let’s get started.
15 Katie Glynn’s Field Hockey Incident
Back in 2015, the field hockey legend announced her retirement from the sport at the young age of 26. She was honored for her achievements in the domain as one of the true greats. She etched her name in our memories for all the wrong reasons however, suffering a nasty injury at the 2012 London Games.
Representing New Zealend, Glynn’s squad took on Holland in a crucial semi-final showdown. During the second half of the game, Glynn was accidentally hit in the head by Ellen Hoog’s field hockey stick as she attempted to take a shot on net. She was a mess but somehow, managed to return to the game with a bandage covering her entire head. She received five stitches to cover the gash.
14 Olga Graf’s Suit Gives Out
Olga Graf became a viral name in both Russia and all over the world during her Olympic run at the Sochi Games. At the 3,000 meter race, Graf reached the podium for the host nation taking home the bronze medal; it was an emotional victory for both Graf and her country. She would reach worldwide fame for another reason however - as she was celebrating her podium finish, her attire completely busted open as it was unzipped a little too much. We’ve seen numerous malfunctions pertaining to outfits in the past, proving that things can also get too real with one’s defective ensemble.
In case you were wondering, the 34 year old Russian won’t be competing in the upcoming games, Graf was one of the first athletes to turn down an invitation. Seriously speaking, can you blame her?
13 Yohann Diniz Lets Go
Things got a little too serious for the Frenchman Yohann Diniz during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Not only did the dude collapse on multiple instances during the 50 KM marathon, but he also suffered from one of the most embarrassing moments ever, one that of course was also a little too real for television.
Along with collapsing, the marathon runner defecated himself during the race, and making matters worse, the incident took place halfway through the marathon. He was forced to continue running as you know what, trickled down his leg - it was truly an unplesant scene and one cameras desperately tried to get away from. Despite all of that, Diniz somehow, someway, managed to finish in eighth place, just six minutes behind the leader. Now that deserves a round of applause.
12 Samir Said's Leg
The French apparently didn’t have the best luck during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Samir Said was another Olympian to suffer a horrifying incident, though many would say this one was a lot worse in comparison to Diniz.
A big favorite heading into the vault event, Samir saw his dreams come crashing down during his landing in the vault event. Landing on his left leg, the injury was one of the most unsettling in Olympic history and one that was way too real for television. Said suffered from a broken tibia and fibula. Thankfully, the 28 year old Frenchman was able to make a full recovery and he returned to the World Championships in 2017 just missing the podium with an admirable fourth place finish.
11 Henrik Ingebrigtsen Busts Out Of His Shorts
The 1,500 meter Olympic race was something the Norwegian won’t forget for all the wrong the reasons. During the 2012 London Games, Henrik Ingebrigtsen finished fifth in the competition and he even set a Norwegian record for time at the event. Though an untimely wardrobe malfunction is what people are going to remember the marathon runner by.
At the start of the race, his “lower area” already had a bit of a tear. As you can imagine, after running for three hours and a half, that tear had lots of time to expand and unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. It’s not as if the poor guy could have just stopped and switched suits. Instead he gutted it out and provided us with a little too much.
10 Jaehyouk Sa's Elbow During Lift
Jaehyouk Sa came into the 2012 Olympic Summer Games with a lot of hype. He was a former Gold medalist from the Beijing Games taking home first place in the 77 kg class. He was looking to repeat four years later, however things went terribly wrong during his lift.
Another awful visual, Jaehyouk Sa totally missed timed his second lift leading to a gruesome injury. He was diagnosed with a dislocated elbow, an injury that most onlookers were able to disclose just by seeing the state of his joint. He was forced to withdraw from the competition due to the terrible injury. Making matters worse, the South Korean was recently suspended by the country’s Olympic committee for assaulting a junior weight lifter. His Olympic days are likely done as he’s banned for a decade.
9 The Excited American Rowing Team
Back at the 2012 London Games, the US team took home the bronze medals at the Rowing event. One Henrik Rummel stood out a lot more compared to his counterparts for a certain reason. Many speculated that the rower was perhaps a little too excited to receive his Olympic bronze medal. It was an embarrassing visual and one that was discussed at length following the incident.
Poor Rummel actually had to defend his “lower area” claiming he didn’t know why it was placed that way, though admitted that he wasn’t “excited” and it was completely normal. Needless to say, by the looks of it, the Olympic Rowing team in Rio received a little more wiggle room on the bottom end of their attires, they can thank Rummel for that.
8 Talgat Ilyasov's Elbow
An Olympian dislocating their elbow is a common injury, especially during weight-lifting competitions. This one however, was out of the norm as Olympic wrestler Talgat Ilyasov suffered from the injury at the last Summer Olympic Games in Rio. The visual was not a pretty sight, perhaps it could be too real for lots of people watching, causing them to change the channel – if that was you, we don’t blame you. It was really cringeworthy stuff, to say the least.
The now 36 year old was unfortunately ousted from the competition in Rio due to the injury in the round of 32 matchup against Sosuke Takatani of Japan.
7 Greg Louganis Hits Head On Board
What a story this was, Greg Louganis became an Olympic legend back at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. The clip has over two millions views on YouTube; Greg was attempting a dive in the preliminary rounds which led to his head smacking the board as he crashed into the water. He suffered a concussion and many believed his games were done.
In this day and age due to the sensitivity of head issues, he likely wouldn’t have been allowed to continue but thankfully, he was able to back at the '88 Olympic Games. Not only did he continue, but he would end up destroying the completion winning gold by an astonishing 25 point gap. He was awarded the “Athlete of the Year” award by ABC in the same year - an award he deserved following such an awful bump, only to win gold.
6 Andranik Karapetyan’s Injury
As we stated earlier, dislocations are quite common in the world of weight lifting and poor Andranik Karapetyan learned that the hard way during the recent 2016 summer games. The incident was quite terrible but the result was even worse making it one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory at the games.
Coming into the event with decent momentum following a bronze medal at the World Championship, the Armenian might have bit off more than he was able to chew. While attempting a clean and jerk, his left arm completely gave out resulting in a nasty elbow dislocation, arguably the worst out of all the elbow injuries on this list. The visual was extremely disturbing as you can see the pain and agony all over the young 22 year olds face.
5 Jenifer Benitez's Slip
As we’ve seen during this article, wardrobe malfunctions can also take place at any time during the Olympic Games. This just reminds us that even the very best at their craft are susceptible to such occurrences.
The 2008 Olympic Games was quite forgettable for the Spanish diver. Not only was her execution a flop, but she also suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. While awaiting her score, the cameras showed Jenifer adjusting her attire leading to the brief slip that the rolling cameras caught. It was a moment that went viral and one that remains one of the very worst malfunctions in Olympic history. To her credit, she bounced back from the disastrous 2008 Games with another appearance at the event four years later in London.
4 The Lochtegate
This incident proved that things can get real for Olympians outside of the arena as well. Known as the infamous Lochtegate, Ryan Lochte was held at gun point and was robbed during the 2016 Rio Games. According to the details, Brazilans posed as security and demanded money from Lochte for allegedly vandalizing a local gas station.
It was a massive scandal and one that landed both Brazil and Lochte in hot water. Finally, in 2017, Brazilian court dropped the charges against Lochte ending the saga. It was a scary situation that could have turned even uglier. It also took lots of emphasis off the brilliant US Swim team from the event, another downside to the situation. Things got a little too real, something that US Olympians hope they’ll never have to relive.
3 Helen Skelton Rocks Questionable Outfit
BBC is one of top Olympic carriers, thus, this incident went absolutely viral. Things got a little too real in the press box during the Olympic Games in 2016 as host Helen Skelton took all the headlines away from the athletes due to her revealing outfit. The nature of the dress was extremely short and one many argued was too steamy for television.
The veteran host defended her outfit due to the outrage. She immediately down-sized the situation claiming that if she wanted to flash her assets, her thighs wouldn’t be what she would showcase comparing them to "uncooked sausages" – you go to love her sense of humor on the matter. She simply stated that her intent was to look nice for the event and make the most out of the opportunity - we can all agree, she did exactly that.
2 Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding
This one was as real as it gets. Just prior to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked as she was walking around the Cobo Arena in Detroit. She was struck in the right thigh by Shane Stant who was hired to perform the hit. In one of the most controversial incidents in Olympic history, Stant was hired by rival Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly.
The disturbing aftermath of the ordeal was captured by cameras that were on scene. It was a horrific sight and the matter is still discussed to this day. Kerrigan ended up missing the US Championships but was granted access to Olympics regardless after the athletes agreed it was the right thing to do. Kerrigan ended up taking home the silver medal at the event, though once it again it wasn’t without controversy as many deemed the judges were bias against Kerrigan due to her American passport and given the fact that she was given a lower score from a German judge.
1 Nodar Kumaritashvili Tragically Passes Away
Considered the most disturbing incident in Olympic history, the young Georgian luger passed away during the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The tragic event took place a day before the Opening Ceremony during the training trials - many deemed the course as being way too fast. Nodar became the fourth Winter Olympian to pass away during the winter event and seventh total.
The footage was shown on television and it was truly shocking. Georgia’s Olympic committee and athletes threatened to leave the games due to the demise. Instead, they ended up dedicating their Olympic run to the fallen 21 year old. He was honored with a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games. It remains one of the most controversial Olympic moments to ever air on television.