The Shocking Olympic Scandals Quiz


Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The Olympics are a time for glory, but can also provide a worldwide audience when something goes wrong. Take our quiz to see how much you know about some of the greatest scandals and controversies of Olympic games, past and present.

Which of these countries famously boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles?

In retaliation for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow, the USSR skipped the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Why was Jim Thorpe stripped of his medals from the 1912 Games?

Thorpe lost his pentathlon and decathlon medals after officials learned he earned money playing pro baseball in 1909 and 1910.

Where were the Olympics held in 1994, when Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding faced off on the ice?

Kerrigan came back from a whack to the knee — planned by Harding's ex-husband — to win the silver in Lillehammer, while Harding broke a shoelace and finished 8th.

Fred Lorz rode in a car for much of the race before winning the marathon at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.

Lorz famously hopped in a car at mile 9, before jumping out at the end to finish the race on foot. He won, but was later disqualified for his cheating ways.

Which venue was subject to a bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta?

Security guard Richard Jewell was initially blamed for the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, which killed two and injured over 100. Jewell was later cleared of any wrongdoing and another man confessed to the crime.

Two pairs skating teams shared the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

After the French judge admitted that she was pressured to give the win to the Russian team, officials decided to smooth over the scandal by awarding a second gold to Canadians Sale and Pelletier.

Why did Andreea Raducan lose her gold medal in gymnastics at the 2000 Games in Sydney?

Raducan was stripped of her all-around crown after taking cold medicine prescribed by her team doctor. Despite numerous appeals, the gold went to second-place finisher Simona Amanar.

What year did two summer Olympians famously give the "Black Power" salute on the medal podium?

Track and field runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists to support civil rights during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

What year did the U.S. team lose to the USSR 51-50 in a hotly-contested game?

It was 1972 when the USSR narrowly edged out the U.S. team for gold, prompting President Nixon to say, "Well, we got screwed."

Who took the gold in the 100m in 1988 after Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping?

After Canadian Ben Johnson was caught doping at the 1988 Games in Seoul, the gold in the 100m went to American Carl Lewis.

Which country did Zola Budd represent in the 1984 Games?

Budd — who hailed from South Africa — represented Great Britain in the 1984 Games, when she famously collided with Mary Decker and finished seventh.

Which apparatus was set up incorrectly during the women's gymnastics competition at the 2000 Games in Sydney?

After a surprising number of gymnasts crashed on the vault, officials realized the apparatus was set two inches too low. While gymnasts were allowed to repeat their vaults after the issue was fixed, the error took a huge toll on the competitors.

In what sport do athletes use an epee?

An epee is a fancy fencing sword. In 1976, USSR athlete Boris Onichenko rigged his electronic epee to help him cheat his way to pentathlon gold.

Which German city hosted the games in 1936?

Berlin was seen as a controversial host for the games due to the rise of the Nazis and the country's atrocious human rights record at the time.

What year did the Munich Massacre occur?

At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, a group of Palestinian terrorists kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, holding them hostage before executing them.

What year was boxer Roy Jones Jr. mysteriously cheated out of a well-deserved gold medal?

Jones handily defeated Park Si Hun at the 1988 Games, but the judges decided to award the gold to Si Hun. Fans were left scratching their heads, and two of the judges were later banned for life from the sport.

How many gold medals did Marion Jones win in Sydney in 2000?

Jones handily won five gold medals in track and field events at the 2000 games, then later had to return them after she admitted to doping.

What city hosted the 2002 Winter Games, where several officials were later jailed for bribery?

Officials hoping to lure the Olympics to Salt Lake City used a host of shady tactics to win the games, and several later ended up in prison for their antics.

Lance Armstrong won the gold medal for cycling at the 2000 games.

Armstrong rode away with the bronze at the 2000 games in Sydney but later returned the medal after he admitted to doping.

What nation was stripped of a medal in team gymnastics after officials learned the country used an underage gymnast at the 2000 Summer Games?

After officials learned that China included a 14-year old on their women's gymnastics team in 2000, they lost their team medal they had earned in the event.

Which country's team housing did officials raid to gather evidence related to doping at the Turin Olympics in 2006?

Officials raided the housing of Austria's biathlon and cross country teams searching for evidence related to doping suspicions.

What sport is Ross Rebagliati best-known for?

Rebagliati was nearly stripped of his gold medal in snowboarding after testing positive for marijuana in 1998. Fortunately for him, marijuana wasn't actually on the IOC's list of banned substances at that time.

When was South Africa finally allowed to send teams to the Olympics, after being banned from the games in 1964?

South Africa was banned from sending teams to the Olympics in 1964 due to the country's apartheid policies. It was finally permitted to send teams to the games again starting in 1992.

What city hosted the Olympics — and a basketball "Dream Team" — in 1992?

The Dream Team, which consisted largely of professional players, crushed the competition at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

What was Evan Lysacek criticized for when he won the gold in figure skating at the 2010 Games?

Lysacek won the gold in Vancouver despite being one of the few top male skaters who didn't include a quadruple jump in his program.

What sport was Olympian Knud Enemark Jensen participating in when he died during the 1960 Games in Rome?

Jensen died while cycling after taking a drug he hoped would improve his blood circulation. He is now seen as one of the earliest examples of doping during the games.

East German officials routinely gave male hormones to female athletes during the '70s and '80s.

East German female athletes were regularly given male hormones to boost their Olympic performance. Several East German officials were later jailed for their participation in this scandal.

How much did Russia spend on the Sochi Olympics?

The Sochi Games were the costliest in history at $51 billion, and many questioned where exactly all this money went.

Why was Stella Walsh able to run so fast when she raced at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles?

While Walsh was a celebrated a female runner, an autopsy performed upon her death proved she was intersex and that it may have played a part in her success.

What human rights issue became a hot topic during the Sochi games, resulting in protests and plenty of headlines?

After Putin warned against pushing "gay propaganda" in Sochi, both athletes and the public erupted in protest and spoke up in support of the gay community.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes