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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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August 14, 2008 3:11 PM

Hey; throw that medal in this direction

Posted by Ron Judd

A Swedish wrestler, Ara Abrahamian, tossed his bronze medal onto the floor in disgust, saying he was hosed by judges in Greco-Roman wrestling's 84-kilo class semifinal.

The Swede was beaten by eventual gold medalist Andrea Minguzzi of Italy. In a grand display of Olympic sportsmanship, he yelled at the referee and then verbally accosted the judges. Teammates restrained him, CNN reports.

At the medal ceremony after his bronze medal match, Abrahamian left the bronze on the mat. It reportedly was later returned to his sport's governing body.

Know this: If that baby goes up on e-Bay, we're going after it.

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Posted by pika

5:00 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I think he has a good argument, there seems to be a consensus from those who have actually seen the match, that he was cheated.

Posted by Andrew

5:05 PM, Aug 14, 2008

By baby you mean the medal and not the wrestler right? :p

I heard somewhere that this will be his last time competing. If not, I would personally ban him from the Olympics if I were on the Board. Whether you lose to an unfair ruling or not, doing something this childish does not warrant a return to such a prestigious event. If I were Sweden, I would be ashamed.

Posted by DanGablesSon

5:09 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I'm with pika. I saw the match, and it was easily the weirdest I've seen of the dozens so far this Olympics. If he wasn't screwed, he was at least held to a different standard than everyone else. If it takes doing something this drastic for FILA and the IOC to take a closer look at their practices, then so be it.

Posted by Semipro

6:16 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Your comment is not only inappropriate but disrespectful to the wrestler who was clearly cheated. He worked for 4 years to get screwed by a bunch of old guys in chairs and you question his sportsmanship? Shame on you.

Posted by buddygothosed

11:02 AM, Aug 15, 2008

yeah, shame on you andrew!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Keith

11:50 AM, Aug 15, 2008

I think it is brave to bring light to the awful scoring I've seen throughout this Olympic games in the wrestling competitions. Do you think the 1972 USA Basketball team refusing Silver should have made us ashamed? His conduct towards the referee's may be over the line but leaving the medal on the mat was brave.

Posted by eloise

6:15 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I think what he did was remakably brave. The olympics as a whole completly suck this year regarding judging, ticketing, pollution and armed men standing around with guns. Im suprised that Beijing was chosen in the first place as their promise to clear up their air was NOT fullfilled. I would not be suprised if all the athletes come home with serious respiratory problems! Worst Olympics Ever!!!

Posted by Jon

7:49 PM, Aug 15, 2008

Regardless of whether the action was brave it was uncalled for. There are venues for appeals. They exist to retain a certain sense of decency in all competitions, a decency that this individual was too self centred to realize.

I have not seen the match so maybe he was cheated. But to flip the winner the bird, who mind you was not even the alleged cheater, is just childish. I have competed at National level athletics, with and against some of the current contenders. I have witnessed gross injustices in sport, but you deal with them through ethical means but never this 'brave' act.

I have a friend who has missed two Olympic games (once as a 15 yr old for gymnastics in 1996 and this year for pole vault) due to injuries. This latest one she jump the A+ standard but too early in the season so, her reoccurring injury stopped her 4 yr dream. She appealed but to no avail.

I feel bad for her but she has character, she is not throwing a hissy fit because an appeal did not go her way.

Working hard at something is not justification for acting foolish.

I understand he was cheated, so appeal. Donít go to the award ceremony as a silent protest maybe... But to tell off the winner, because of someone else's mistake (deliberate or not) is patently wrong!

Posted by Old War Horse

10:56 PM, Aug 15, 2008

I have watched and re-watched this match a dozen times. The Swede was cheated. He was not awarded a point for defending his position and the Italian was given two points for "exposing" the Swedes back to the mat!! It never happened. In addition the referee awarded points to the Italian for the Swedes incorrect starting position that did not occur until the referee started moving the Swede around. The Italian false started but was not even warned.
In 45 years of participation as a wrestler and a coach I have never witness this level of incompetence by a ref.

Posted by Abbas

3:08 PM, Aug 16, 2008

@ Sempiro
"Your comment is not only inappropriate but disrespectful to the wrestler who was clearly cheated. He worked for 4 years to get screwed by a bunch of old guys in chairs and you question his sportsmanship? Shame on you."

Not denying that he got screwed but he had no right in acting the way he did. Heck - even Roy Jones Jr. in Seoul '88 accepted his medal and that was much more of a travesty than this.

Posted by Nalle

11:21 AM, Aug 18, 2008

So true. As a swede Im extremely PROUD of what Ara did. I feel sorry it had to be this way, but if this can prevent another corruptionscandal like this, Go Ara!

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Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
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