Sarah Attar (Saudi Arabia)

Sport: athletics.

London 2012

Sarah Attar

What will be remembered: When Sharia law officially in force in Saudi Arabia does not allow a woman to drive a car, walk alone along the street or appear in a public place with a blatant face, the ban on their participation in the Olympics is seen only as a sweet and not so illogical nuance. Only the IOC to the last could not come to terms with this injustice, threatening the Arabians with suspension from the Games for sexual discrimination.

For the first time in history, sheikhs from Saudi Arabia had to quickly equip women to London. So far, it has been decided to confine oneself to a couple — athlete Sarah Attar and judo player Vodzhan Shakhrkhani — obviously so that they do not walk along English streets alone. Both were severely punished to perform in loose clothing that does not fit the figure and “preserve their dignity” and cover the head with sports hijabs

Eric Moussambani (Equatorial Guinea)

Sport: swimming.

Sydney 2000

Eric Moussambani

What I remember: the qualifying heat, which, together with Moussambani, was to be held by another pair of swimmers – Tajik and Algerian – suddenly turned into a spectacular performance. After the rivals were disqualified for a synchronous false start, the colorful Guinean, who had learned to swim for almost a year, set off to conquer the hundred-meter stretch mark alone.

The last fifteen meters of this solo swim, the rescue service of the Sydney basin held in full combat readiness – it seemed that Erik was swimming against a powerful wave and would not be able to get to the side by himself. “100 meters is too long a distance, but I still overcame it”, – the result of an African who now leads the national team of his country in swimming, four years after the 2000 Games lost almost a minute (from 1.52.72 to 57 seconds) , but he didn’t get a second Olympic chance.

Matthew Mitcham (Australia)

Sport: diving.

Beijing 2008

Matthew Mitcham

What I remember: the sensational victory of the Australian, inherited as a gift from the Chinese robot Zhou Lucine in the last jump, would have remained without close attention, if not the frank recognition drawn by the Australian tabloid from Mitchum on the eve of the Games. Later, a specialized American edition summed up its Beijing – it turned out that only ten athletes participated in it, who discovered their non-standard sexual orientation: nine girls and Matthew.

Citch-out of Mitcham forced the sponsors and a whole group of female fans to turn away from him, who valued their reputation very much, but such a development did not inflict mental trauma on the jumper. In 2010, he visited the traditional – the eighth in a row – gay games in Cologne, at which he read the oath of athletes. And having healed physical injuries, Matthew hopes to conquer the depths of London. And peaks too.

Another famous case is the four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis (jumping into the water), who also admitted homosexuality after a career. However, another story is connected with him – being HIV-infected, Greg jumped into the pool with his head smashed in blood. The fact of the disease Luganis concealed, which he later publicly asked for forgiveness.

Jeffrey Bolkiah (Brunei)

Sport: stand shooting.

Atlanta 1996

What I remember: the younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei came to Atlanta as Minister of Finance and the status of a rich playboy of blue blood. While Jeffrey was not very skillfully shooting at the skeet, in his homeland idle car park was idle for a thousand and a half cars, a hangar with a dozen planes and a harem of thirty women. 49th place of the prince was not the last only due to two extra hits, but his gun inlaid with expensive stones simply had to rescue the owner. Two years later, one of the richest people in the world was forced to leave all posts in the government and leave Brunei after accusations of embezzling the treasury

Yip Chi Va (Hong Kong)

Sport: swimming.

Athens 2004

What I remember: 11-year-old Hong Kong schoolgirl on the side of the Athenian pool looked particularly defenseless against the background of 80-pound grenadars from Iceland and Mexico standing nearby. The brass technique of the girl with a hard-to-read surname for a hundred meters varied from freestyle to the butterfly, and at the end began to resemble something from the arsenal of Russian synchronized girls. Nevertheless, in her preliminary heat, Ip (or Va?) Managed to get ahead of that very powerful Icelander Heimsdottir, from which she differed by 25 centimeters and the same number of kilograms

Randolph Knowles (Bahamas)

Sport: sailing.

Seoul 1988

What I remember: for the venerable gray-haired old man, the Seoul Olympics were the eighth in their careers – Knowles made his debut at the post-war Games-1948 in London. For sailing, the personality is almost legendary – at the age of 30 he began to sail under British sails; he moved to the Bahamas, during which he spent the remaining seven Olympics.

In the 56th he was subdued by Melbourne’s bronze, eight years later Tokyo was gold, and in Seoul 70-year-old Randolph flew to say goodbye to the sport. Together with 33-year-old Stephen Kelly, grandchildren, he spent a glorious seven-day adventure on the velvet waves of the Korean Strait, even if it ended only in 19th place.

Caster Semenya (South Africa)

Sport: athletics.

London 2012

Custer Semenya

What will be remembered: athletics faced a gender problem long before the appearance of the scandalous Seed on the treadmill. For example, in the mid-30s, in the sprint, there was no equal Polish runner Stanislav Valaszewicz, in which the male signs were found after death, and another Polish woman from the 1960s, Eva Klobukovsk, was deprived of all awards after a positive gender test. Russian sisters Irina and Tamara Press, Yarmila Kratokhvilova from Czechoslovakia, Spaniard Maria Patino, are still under suspicion for a long time now.

So Semenya, two years ago, officially recognized by a woman, is not at all alone in her position. And her Olympic debut can again stir up the public, even despite the operation, a downed testosterone level, the outlines of a female figure that have appeared, and the official test results.

Edinanci Fernandes da Silva(Brazil)

Sport: judo.

Atlanta 1996

Edinanci Fernandes da Silva

What I remember: a 19-year-old Brazilian woman came to her first Olympiad a couple of years after the sex change operation. And even if she was never a full-fledged man, but before the operation it was the male chromosomes that prevailed in her body, which is why the international federation did not dare to allow yes to official competitions among women.

Following Atlanta, Edinanci participated in three more Games, and four years ago in Beijing, only by a miracle without reaching the podium, became the fifth. It is curious that da Silva retained all the habits from her previous life – she basically does not use cosmetics, does not wear women’s clothes, and putting her opponent on the tatami, always gallantly extended her hand, helping her to rise

Oscar Pistorius (South Africa)

Sport: athletics.

London 2012

What will be remembered: the South African amputee runner for his right to run alongside healthy people had to be pretty beaten. Prove that ultralight carbon prostheses do not give an advantage, he did not succeed, even though the international federation with the Olympic Committee and Pistorius issued admission to their competition.

“We don’t know for sure if Oscar gains an advantage at the expense of his prostheses, therefore, it’s not fair to compete in ordinary competitions. It is difficult for many to accept and understand, but he knows that I am against his speeches, ”the legendary Michael Johnson most gently formulated the position of opponents of Pistorius, who in London will run the baton of 4×400 meters.

Pistorius will not be the only participant of the Olympics, who appeared before the Paralympic Games – the weak-sighted Irish sprinter Jason Smith will run in London. But even earlier, this feat was accomplished by five courageous sportsmen: South African swimmer Natalie Du Tua (her left leg was amputated) and Polish tennis player Natalia Partyka (from birth there is no part of her right arm below the elbow) in Beijing, a blind American runner Marla Ranjan – in Sydney as well as two archers – Italian Paola Fantato (polio) in Atlanta and New Zealand Neroli Fairhall (paralysis of the legs) in Los Angeles.

Oliver Halassi (Hungary)

Sport: water polo.

Amsterdam 1928

What I remember: as a child, the next two-time Olympic champion in water polo landed under the car, because of which the Hungarian doctors had to take part of his leg below the knee. This did not affect Oliver’s passion for swimming, which later brought him 25 titles of champion of Hungary – every day he sailed a few kilometers up the Danube and back. In the Soviet Union, they carefully concealed that the famous Hungarian died at the 38th year of life from the bullet of a Soviet soldier when he tried to protect his father’s car from marauders in military uniform.

At that time, the Paralympic Games had not yet been held, so for athletes with limited physical abilities there was no other choice but to participate in ordinary Olympiads. Thus, the American gymnast George W. Eyser, who performed with a prosthesis instead of a foot, made history with Olympic winners, Murray Halberg, a New Zealand trainer, who ran with a hand paralyzed after a rugby injury, and the Hungarian shooter Kará Takac, who learned to shoot his left hand after amputation of his right hand.

Assunta Legnante (Italy)

Sport: athletics.

Beijing 2008

Assunta Legnante

What I remember: the Olympic debut of the magnificent Italian should have been held four years earlier, but local doctors did not allow Legnante to Athens because of congenital glaucoma and high intraocular pressure. Despite medical admission to the 2008 Games (where she became the 19th), Assunta’s eyesight began to deteriorate sharply. The operation that followed two years later was unsuccessful and the kernel pusher acting before the lens completely lost its sight.

“Now I can see the light with my left eye, but no more. Yes, it happened, but more unpleasant things happen to people, ”- Legnante doesn’t lose heart, preparing for the Paralympic Games in London.

She is the main favorite of the tournament in the shot put, even though in four difficult years her result worsened by almost six meters (from 19 to 13). By the way, German Ilke Willuda, the heroine of the 2000 Sydney Games, who has lost a leg due to blood poisoning during one of her knee operations, plans to perform in the same form

Katie Freeman (Australia)

Sport: athletics.

Sydney 2000

What I remember: the heroine of the home Olympiad became its symbol long before the historic victory at 400 meters. A descendant of the most genuine Australian aborigines, Freeman riveted on him the wild attention of the audience, and the space suit with an indispensable hood added exotic.

The broadcast of the final race with the participation of Katie gathered the largest audience in the history of the National Aboriginal Television of Australia – televisions were installed even in the most remote corners of the continent, where the natives still live in hunting and fishing, not knowing a word in English.

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