The London Olympic Games are finally underway after a spectacular opening ceremony and with every passing day new controversies are being unearthed. Here’s a list of the top controversies of the Games:
Gold medals awarded at the Games are not really gold but contain 92.5% silver and 6.5% copper; the gold component is limited to just 1% making these medals worth about £410 at best.
Women’s Football Semi-final Controversy:
USA and Canada met in the women’s football semi-finals and USA won 4-3 under controversial circumstances. Canada were leading 3-2 when Abby Wambach tied the score by scoring off a penalty after Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen awarded the Americans a controversial free kick. The free kick ensued after Pedersen ruled that goalkeeper McLeod had held the ball for more than six seconds. Pedersen compounded the controversy by charging Marie-Eve Nault with a handball in the penalty area following the free kick that ensued.
Badminton Match-fixing Controversy:
Eight women’s badminton players have been disqualified from the Olympics after they were found to have deliberately thrown their group stage matches in order to facilitate a smoother passage through the tournament. The players include the Chinese world champion pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang. They were accused of attempting to throw their dead rubber so as to avoid facing the world number two pair, also from China, before the final. Xiaoli and Yang’s actions in turn “inspired” pairs from Indonesia and South Korea to try and lose so as to subvert the devious plan of the world champion pair. For a detailed article on this controversy, click here.
GB Women’s Football Team Email Controversy:
On the opening day of the Games, an email sent out by members of the Great Britain women’s football team referred to the team as England. Team members from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would have been less than amused.
Aquatic Centre Seating Controversy:
The purpose built Aquatic Centre was a scene of embarrassment for the organisers who had to refund the tickets of hundreds of spectators who could not get a good view of the diving event owing to a fault in the design of the centre.
During the opening ceremony, Madhura Nagendra, an Indian MBA student from London, gate-crashed the Indian contingent as it marched around the stadium. Everyone was stunned to see the woman in red with a broad smile on her face walking next to the bemused Indian flag bearer, Sushil Kumar. The fact that the lady in question managed to do what she did, with impunity, underscores a security lapse of the highest order. The International Olympic association has demanded an apology from the Indian contingent.
Empty Stadiums Controversy:
The sight of half empty stadiums has raised the hackles of several disappointed spectators who could not get tickets last year when the tickets got “sold” off within hours of being offered for sale on the web.
North Korea Flag Controversy:
The very first day of the Games was marked by a juicy controversy that could easily have snowballed into an international diplomatic incident. The organisers showed the North Korean women’s football team next to the South Korean flag on the giant screen at the stadium. Given the fact that the two countries are officially at war, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the North Koreans were not amused. The organisers added fuel to the fire by not calling the countries by their Olympic names of People’s Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). For more details on this controversy, click here.
Fencing Umpiring Controversy:
Germany’s Britta Heidermann was the beneficiary of a bizarre umpiring decision when she was awarded a semi-final fencing match against South Korea’s Shin A Lam. Lam led Heidermann by a point in the women’s individual epee competition with a second remaining in the contest. Heidermann took advantage of extra time granted to her when the timing mechanism on the piste got stuck and completed her scoring touch. Bizarrely, the officials decided to hand Heidermann the bout. After a farcical appeal proceeding that was delayed for more than 30 minutes, the bout was still awarded to Heidermann.
Cycling Disqualification Controversy:
The cycling event opened with controversy when hot favourites, Britain’s Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, were thrown out of the women’s team sprint. they had earlier broken the world record in the heats, a mark that was immediately surpassed by China’s pair. The home heroes’ illegal changeover in the semi-final that helped them beat Ukraine proved an expensive mistake. Pendleton was ruled to have overtaken too early — by half a bike wheel – and the mistake cost what would have been another certain medal for the home team.
Boxing Scoring System Controversy:
Neither fans nor competitors are happy with the new scoring system in the boxing event. In the earlier system, each landed punch was registered by the judges by using an electronic scoring button. the system was based on consensus among the judges that a punch had indeed been landed and this happened in the matter of seconds and the judges went on to credit the boxer with a point. under the new system, all the judges’ registered punches are counted up after each round and the boxers given a score out of 10; this score is based on an average of the scores of three of the five judges, and the system does not take any time limit on recording hits into consideration. This has led to many unfair results, such as the loss of India’s Sangwan to a Brazilian rival, much to the disbelief of spectators.
Ye Shiwen Controversy:
Chinese teen sensation, Ye Shiwen, staggered the world when the 16-year old beat the 400 metres individual medley record in the pool, clipping off more than a second from the record set at Beijing by Steph Rice. Her performance raised the eyebrows of several observers, including those of BBC presenter, Clare Balding, who suspected foul play, particularly as Ye Shiwen’s time over the last 50 metres was faster than that of men’s champion Ryan Lochte. While Lochte did the last 50 metres in 29.10 secs, Ye Shiwen did it in 28.93 secs.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.