The Olympics and Its Scandals

Helene Mayer
Helene Mayer / brandstaetter images/GettyImages

After every four years, the Olympic games occur, and they come with so much excitement for the athletes and the host city. For us watching, we may see a perfectly well-organized event, but behind the scenes, terrible things occur.

It ranges from doping scandals from athletes to animal abuse and, of course, cheating. We take a look down memory lane at some of the scandalous events that have happened at the Olympics.

Bad for the Environment

The Olympics are known to host many visitors who watch or participate in the exciting sporting event, but with that comes a lot of environmental pollution. The most shocking one was in 2016 during the Rio Olympics when raw sewage and a human body washed up on the beach near the Volleyball pitch. It was so embarrassing for the host nation.

Unfortunately, that was not the only one, the Greeks had promised to deliver the greenest Olympics ever, but they failed miserably at the attempt. Other host nations were condemned, and others were even fined for the horrible environmental pollution.

Publicity Stunts Gone Too Far

There is nothing like a good publicity stunt to make people forget about the bad things happening. During Hitler’s Reign in Germany, terrible things were happening, and people were already getting suspicious. Therefore the country decided to host the Olympics as a publicity stunt to alleviate their suspicions.

Moreover, they even included a Jewish Athlete, Helene Mayer, which surprised many as the Jews were not allowed to participate in any sports events. She eventually won the silver medal for fencing, where she gave the old Nazi salute from her winner’s stand. Many wondered why a Jew would offer such a salute to Hitler.

Inhumane Ways of Gender Testing

If you were a woman athlete in the sixties to the nineties, you had to endure a traumatic, demeaning, and invasive gynecological exam to prove that you were indeed a woman before competing. While the rule was set to ensure no men disguised themselves as women to compete, they went about it wrong.

It all began when Dora Ratjen won several awards after competing in Berlin’s Olympics in 1936 in the high jump. After her gender was investigated, it turned out she had both male and female genitalia but was brought up as a girl. Gender testing has been a bone of contention at the Olympics for years. Although they haven’t stopped doing it, we are glad they found more humane ways to do it, which include genetic laboratory-based testing.