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The Olympics invariably attracts attention. Athletes sometimes turn out to be quite unusual, which will be discussed below.
Sarah Attar (Saudi Arabia). This track and field athlete represented her country in London in 2012. Sharia law in Saudi Arabia does not allow women to drive a car, appear alone on the street, or reveal their faces in public. The same rules prohibit the weaker sex from participating in the Olympic Games, which seems quite logical. However, the IOC could not come to terms with such injustice to the last, threatening to completely excommunicate Saudi Arabia from participation in the Olympics. The fact is that there is gender discrimination. The sheikhs were forced to hastily send the women to London. So far, the country has limited itself to only two participants - athlete Sarah Attar and judoka Vodzhan Shahrkhani. Obviously, these girls together and on the street will not be so scared. True, the authorities ordered the athletes to perform in loose clothing that would not fit tightly to the figure, while maintaining dignity. Women's heads must be covered with special sports hijabs.
Eric Mussambani (Equatorial Guinea). Who would have thought that Equatorial Guinea would become the birthplace of the Olympic swimmer? Eric Mussambani competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Surprisingly, the qualifications in which he competed with athletes from Algeria and Tajikistan suddenly turned into an exciting performance. Eric was not seen as a competitor, but the rivals were disqualified for a synchronized false start. As a result, the colorful Guinean, who only a year ago learned to swim in general, slowly began to conquer the distance of 100 meters alone. It was very difficult for him. The last 15 meters of the solo swim kept the pool rescue team on edge. After all, Eric swam as if he was resisting a huge wave. It seemed that he would no longer be able to get to the side on his own. The African said: "100 meters is too long a distance, but I was still able to overcome it." Today Mussambani has led the national swimming team of his country. He managed to improve his result by almost a minute, from 1.52 to 57 seconds, but he never got a second chance at the Olympics.
Matthew Mitchum (Australia). The struggle of divers into the water is always carried out extremely stubbornly. Few manage to surpass the robotic Chinese. In Beijing in 2008, Australian Mitchum won a sensational victory, beating Zhou Luxin only through the last jump. But the athlete also went down in history thanks to his sensational recognition, drawn from him by the Australian tabloid on the eve of the start of the Games. Mitchum confessed to his non-traditional sexual orientation. A specialized American publication has studied this side of the Beijing Olympics. It turned out that in addition to Matthew, 9 more athletes discovered their non-traditional orientation. Mitchum's confessions scared away sponsors from him, who valued their reputation, and the fans were left with broken hearts. But the athlete himself was not at all embarrassed by such fame. In 2010, he even performed at the traditional, already eighth gay games in Cologne, where he read the oath of athletes. After healed his physical injuries, Matthew competed at the London Olympics. Another famous gay athlete was Olympic champion Greg Luganis, who also jumped into the water. He confessed his sexual preferences after the end of his career. Another interesting story was connected with him. Greg jumped into the pool with his head bruised, while he was HIV-positive. But Luganis concealed the fact of his illness, which he later asked for forgiveness.
Jeffrey Bolkiah (Brunei). Cases where royalty compete in the Olympic Games are fairly common. Jeffrey came to Atlanta in 1996 as his country's finance minister. This playboy also had "blue blood", because his older brother was the Sultan of Brunei. Only this Olympian turned out to be not very experienced in clay pigeon shooting. And did he need it, because at home the athlete was waiting for a fleet of 1,500 cars, a hangar with dozens of aircraft and a personal harem with thirty women. Nevertheless, the prince managed to take 49th place, which turned out to be not the last. Two extra hits helped to avoid a complete failure. Perhaps, an expensive gun inlaid with precious stones helped in this. Two years later, one of the richest people in the world hastily left all his posts and left Brunei - he was accused of embezzling the treasury. Continuing the career of an Olympian is out of the question.
Ip Chhi Wa (Hong Kong). Fragile girls-gymnasts no longer surprise anyone. But in swimming, the 11-year-old Hong Kong schoolgirl looked especially defenseless. After all, next to her, powerful 80-kilogram rivals from Mexico and Iceland looked especially threatening. Ip Chhi Wa appeared at the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the same time, the breaststroke technique of a young athlete varied from freestyle to butterfly over a hundred meters of distance. The final part of the distance passed under the sign of movements that were more reminiscent of synchronized swimming. Despite this, in the preliminary swim, the girl was able to overtake the mighty Icelandic Heimisdottir, who was 25 centimeters taller and weighed the same kilogram more.
Randolph Knowles (Bahamas). In 1988, a yachtsman from the Bahamas competed at his eighth Olympics. He first took part in such competitions in 1948 in London. For sailing, this man has become a legend. At the age of 30, he sailed under British sails, and then moved to the Bahamas, for which he competed at the next 7 Olympics. In 1956 Knowles won the bronze in Melbourne, 8 years later he became the champion in Tokyo. In Seoul, the 70-year-old athlete said goodbye to sports. His partner was 33-year-old Stephen Kelly, who fit Knowles as grandchildren. The glorious seven-day fight on the waves of the Korean Gulf brought the athletes only 19th place.
Caster Semenya (South Africa). Everyone is tired of doping scandals at the Olympics, but gender is still a novelty. Long before the scandalous athlete from South Africa appeared on the treadmill, athletics knew such cases. In the mid-1930s, Polish runner Stanislaw Walaszewicz was unmatched in the sprint. After her death, she showed male sexual characteristics. Another Polish woman, Eva Klobukowska, was deprived of all awards in the 60s because she did not pass the gender test. The shadow of suspicion lies with the athletes who have already finished their careers - Soviet athletes Irina and Tamara Press, Yarmila Kratokhvilova from Czechoslovakia, Spaniard Maria Patino. In 2010, Caster Semenya easily won the World Championship, but her gender came under suspicion. Fortunately, the athlete from South Africa managed to prove that she is a woman, which was officially recognized. But even the operation performed, the artificially knocked down testosterone level, the rounded female figure will not save the runner from increased attention to her person in London in 2012.
Edinansi Fernandez da Silva (Brazil). This Brazilian woman came at the age of 19 to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Two years earlier, the girl had undergone gender reassignment surgery. Da Silva has never been a full-fledged man, but before the surgery, it was the male chromosomes that were in the body more. Because of this, the International Judo Federation did not allow the athlete to participate in official competitions for women. After Atlanta, the athlete participated in three more games. In Beijing, she almost made it to the podium, finishing fifth. Interestingly, da Silva retained habits from his past life. So, she does not use any cosmetics or women's clothing. Even having laid her rival on the tatami, the Brazilian gallantly gives her a hand, helping her to rise.
Oscar Pistorius (South Africa). It would seem that there are special Paralympic Games for disabled athletes. But this athlete from South Africa decided to achieve the right to compete with ordinary people. He had to do it quite hard. Oscar has no legs, he had to prove that his carbon prostheses do not provide a technical advantage. While the Athletics Federation and the IOC were never fully convinced, Pistorius received the coveted pass to the 2012 London Olympics. Among the opponents of the participation of this disabled athlete was the famous Michael Jordan. He said it is not yet known whether Oscar will gain an advantage with his prostheses. Therefore, it would be dishonest on the part of an athlete to participate in ordinary competitions. Jordan stressed that his position may become incomprehensible to many, but he brought it to Pistorius. In London, a disabled runner will run the relay race 4 x 400 meters. Interestingly, the South African will not be the only athlete who previously took part in the Paralympic Games. In the same London, the Irish sprinter Jason Smith, who is visually impaired, will compete. It is worth mentioning other brave athletes who were not prevented by injuries from taking part in the Olympics earlier. In Beijing, the swimmer and South Africa Natalie Du Tua, who does not have a part of her left leg, and the Polish tennis player Natalia Partyka, who from birth have no part of her right arm below the elbow, took part. In Sydney, spectators were rooting for the blind American runner Marla Runyan, Italian archer Paola Fantato with polio took part in Atlanta, and New Zealander Neroli Fairhall with leg paralysis tried to prove herself in Los Angeles in the same sport.
Oliver Halashshi (Hungary). When Oliver was hit by a car as a child and Hungarian doctors amputated part of his leg below the knee, no one expected a famous sports career. However, Halashshi became very interested in swimming. Despite his physical disability, every day he swam several kilometers up the Dunya and back. Love for this sport earned Oliver 25 Hungarian Champion titles. Halashshi twice won Olympic medals as part of the national water polo team, in 1928 in Amsterdam he won silver, and 4 years later in Los Angeles - gold. The fate of the famous Hungarian swimmer in our country preferred not to spread. The fact is that he died at the age of 38 from a bullet from a Soviet soldier. The Hungarian tried to protect his father's car from military looters. There was no Paralympic Games at that time, so athletes with disabilities could only participate in regular competitions. In history, there are many names of Olympic medalists with physical disabilities. So, the American gymnast George Eiser had a prosthesis instead of a leg, the New Zealand stayer Murray Halbert ran with his arm paralyzed after a rugby injury, and the Hungarian shooter Karoi Takacs managed to learn to shoot with his left after amputation of his right arm.
Assunta Lenyante (Italy). Back in 2004, the Olympic debut of the magnificent Italian was supposed to take place. However, doctors did not allow the athlete to go to Athens, which was prevented by congenital glaucoma and high intraocular pressure. But doctors prepared the Italian for the games in Beijing in 2008. There, the pusher of the shot was only the 19th. After that, Assunta's vision began to deteriorate sharply. The operation that followed in 2010 was unsuccessful. If earlier the Italian could perform in lenses, now she has completely lost her sight. She herself says that with her left eye she can perceive light, nothing more. Lenyante accepted what had happened, because according to her words, even more terrible things happen to people. She is now preparing for the London Paralympic Games. Here the Italian is the main favorite. And this is despite the fact. That over the past 4 difficult years, her result has deteriorated significantly - from 19 to 13 meters. I must say that the German Ilke Villuda plans to perform in the same sport. The legendary athlete became the Olympic champion in Atlanta in 1996, and in Sydney she became the 7th. Now she's about to switch from discus throw to shot. At one time, the athlete underwent an unsuccessful knee operation and lost her leg due to blood poisoning. The German woman can become the first to become a champion among ordinary athletes and among disabled people.
Katie Freeman (Australia). The Australian made a splash in Sydney in 2000. The athlete became the heroine of the home Olympics even before her historic victory in the 400 meters. Freeman is a descendant of the most real Aborigines. She also attracted the attention of the public with her cosmic exotic suit with an indispensable hood. As a result, the broadcast of the final race with the participation of Freeman gathered the largest audience for the entire existence of the National Aboriginal Television of Australia. Televisions were installed even in the most remote corners of the continent, where the natives still live by fishing and hunting, not knowing English. But how not to cheer for "your" representative at the Olympics?