Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Greg Louganis smashes his head

with 9 comments

As last week’s tragic luge incident showed us, the Olympics are never free from mishaps. Yet, Vancouver seems to be leading the competition: the Olympic torch malfunctioned and it was fenced off from the public, prompting a headline, “Mr. Furlong, tear down this fence!“. Warm weather caused a lot of trouble while millions of tickets were cancelled.

Probably not as bad as 1996 Games in Atlanta though, when overloaded trains and traffic jams kept athletes and journalists from getting to the events. Many Olympic bus drivers quit while various teams moved out of the Olympic village. Heat, lack of air-condition (even inside the subway) and water created hell for visitors, while various escalators broke down.  The city demanded the computer provider, IBM, to use ‘proven’ technology–i.e., technology that is more than 2 years only–which led to massive computer glitches. It described an Angolan basketball player as three feet tall and another gymnast was 97 years old. It was so poorly managed that France-Soir noted: “Africa has been deprived of the Games since their creation with the pretext that African countries don’t have the necessary infrastructure. After Atlanta, any country in the world can apply to host the Games.” In his closing speech, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch described the Atlanta Games as “most exceptional”, an ambivalent departure from traditionally speech that has to describe the Games he was closing as the “best ever”.

Perhaps the most famous olympic mishap was at Seoul Olympics in 1988. Normally during an opening ceremony, white doves are released, but during the Seoul opening ceremony, a few of them settled in the cauldron that housed the Olympic flame as it was being lit. (This caused the cancellation of the dove-releasing tradition). Also in 1988, US diver Greg Louganis smashed his head on the board on his ninth preliminary springboard dive, while attempting a 2½ somersault pike. He received stitches before completing his tenth dive. He overcame the head injury to gain the highest score in the preliminaries and qualify for the final and wins a gold medal in Seoul. This extraordinary come-back made Louganis “Athlete of the Year” for ABC. In 1995, it was revealed that Louganis had been HIV positive at the time of the accident and had not informed the doctor treating him for the head injury. The doctor subsequently tested negative for HIV.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

February 24, 2010 at 1:22 am

Posted in Sports

Tagged with , , ,

9 Responses

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  1. I really like the photos posted here and have been subscribed for quite a while, but I have to make one correction.

    “Millions of tickets” haven’t been cancelled in Vancouver. I don’t think there are millions of tickets in total for all of the events combined.

    I wasn’t a proponent of having them here but I think we should stick to reality when describing them.

    It’s interesting to note that the unbelievably costly Beijing olympics were considered a success because people willfully ignored the massive human rights violations that preceded the games, yet Vancouver is being called out as a failure because of a torch glitch and some sunny weather.

    As far as the death of the Georgian luger, a death is always a sad thing but, realistically, it’s a very dangerous sport and an accident like that could happen on any of the world’s courses. I didn’t hear anyone calling the Daytona 500 a failure after Dale Earnhardt died there a few years ago.

    I live downtown and it’s fairly obvious that the overwhelming majority of people are having a ridiculously good time here. That’s clearly a good thing but my concern is the same now as it was when it was nothing more than an idea: what’s all this really going to cost and how long are we going to be paying for it?

    Our provincial government is notoriously shady about budget shortfalls and I don’t expect the olympics to be any different.


    February 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

  2. I always wondered what happened to that guy who smashed his head…and heavens above, who took that priceless photo?!


    March 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

  3. hahahahahahahahaha


    April 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

  4. seriously dumbass? u train for that stuff you could of done better but u think about dick in your ass all the time


    April 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  5. u were very good and u went gay thats prob why you hit your head but im pretty sure there are alot of gay pride on your side


    April 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

  6. hi im ethan lieber i love lifting and looking at other mens muscles cause they turn me on and my get bigger in the pants when i see a guy squating 500 pounds!!! O ME SO HORNY!!


    April 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm

  7. Ethan ^ whoever you are you are such a jerk! this guy doesnt deserve to be treated like this….even though its true


    April 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  8. […] detailed articles, go to: Black Power salute; Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz; Greg Louganis; Dorando Pietri; American basketball team’s controversial loss; Jesse Owens gets […]

  9. […] articles for photos above, clockwise from top-left: Black Power salute; Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz; Greg Louganis; Dorando Pietri; American basketball team’s controversial loss; Jesse Owens gets […]

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