The Olympics bring joy to people across the world as elite athletes from many diverse nations come together to compete. However, there can be a dark side to an otherwise glorious event. In no particular order, here is our list of the most disturbing events to occur as part of the Olympics.
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STREET DOGS 2014In 2014 the Sochi Olympic committee arranged the mass euthanization of thousands of stray dogs from the city. The decision sparked outrage among animal lovers and animal rights’ groups.
BLACK SEPTEMBER, 1972
The 1972 Olympics in Munich were marred by the kidnapping of 11 Israeli athletes held hostage by the Palestinian group known as “Black September”. All 11 athletes, the 5 kidnappers and a policeman were ultimately killed in a failed rescue attempt.
NICOLAE BERECHET, 1936
Romanian boxer Nicolae Berechet, died just before competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games due to blood poisoning possibly acquired as a result of the violent sport.
OLYMPIC PARK BOMBING, 1996
2 people died and 111 were injured when a pipe bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park in Georgia in 1996. The event was orchestrated by an anti-choice protestor whose violent actions highlight the hypocrisy of his beliefs.
STEPHEN HENZE, 2016
German Olympic coach Stephen Henze shockinngly died in a taxi crash on August 15th, 2016 during the summer olympics that year.
OLYMPIA BATALLION, 1968
The Olympia Batallion was the security group used for the 1968 games held in Mexico. Tragically, the grouped killed dozens of students protesting the games.
Arrigo Menicocci, 1956
The Italian rower was tragically killed in a car accident shortly before the 1956 games in Melbourne, Australia.
RIO WORKERS, 2016
The 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro displaced 1000s of Brazilian citizens whose homes were cleared to make room for Olympic infrastructure. The building project’s poor planning also resulted in a structural failure which killed 15 workers.
KAZIMIERZ KAY-SKRZYPECKI, 1964
Due to the extremely high speeds involved, the luge can be an exhilarating but deadly sport. For example, luge athlete Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki lost his life during a training run for the 1964 Winter Games.
A qualifying match for the Olympic football tournament turned deadly after fans began rioting and police deployed tear gas. Over 318 people died.
NICHOLAS BOCHATAY, 1991
Swiss Olympic skier Nicholas Bochatay tragically never got a chance to compete in the 1991 Winter Olympics held in France. During a practice run just weeks before, he was killed upon impact in an accident with a snow groomer.
ELIŠKA MISÁKOVÁ, 1948
Czech athlete Eliška Misáková is the first person to receive an Olympic medal postmortem. Shortly after arriving in London for the 1948 summer games, she contracted polio and died while her gymnastic team competed, then won.
NODAR KUMARITASHVILI, 2010
While training for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili soared from the track and hit a pillar going over 90 mph. He was killed instantly.
FRANCISCO LÁZARO, 1912
The Portuguese runner was known to coat his body in wax while he competed to protect himself from the sun. It’s unclear if the wax may have been partly responsible for the runner’s fatal collapse at the 1912 summer games in Sweden. Doctors cited dehydration and fluid imbalance as the cause.
JÖRG OBERHAMMER, 1988
An Austrian Olympic physician at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Canada, Jörg Oberhammer collided with another skier, sending him under an oncoming snow grooming machine. He was instantly killed by the impact.