The Shocking Olympic Scandals Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
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?
China
USSR
In retaliation for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow, the USSR skipped the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Canada

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Why was Jim Thorpe stripped of his medals from the 1912 Games?
He took steroids.
He cheated.
He played pro baseball.
Thorpe lost his pentathlon and decathlon medals after officials learned he earned money playing pro baseball in 1909 and 1910.

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

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

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Which venue was subject to a bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta?
Centennial Olympic Park
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.
swimming venue
athletes village

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

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Why did Andreea Raducan lose her gold medal in gymnastics at the 2000 Games in Sydney?
She was underage.
She took steroids.
She took cold medicine.
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.

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What year did two summer Olympians famously give the "Black Power" salute on the medal podium?
1968
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.
1972
1976

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What year did the U.S. team lose to the USSR 51-50 in a hotly-contested game?
1964
1968
1972
It was 1972 when the USSR narrowly edged out the U.S. team for gold, prompting President Nixon to say, "Well, we got screwed."

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Who took the gold in the 100m in 1988 after Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping?
Carl Lewis
After Canadian Ben Johnson was caught doping at the 1988 Games in Seoul, the gold in the 100m went to American Carl Lewis.
Linford Christie
Ray Stewart

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Which country did Zola Budd represent in the 1984 Games?
United States
Great Britain
Budd — who hailed from South Africa — represented Great Britain in the 1984 Games, when she famously collided with Mary Decker and finished seventh.
Canada

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Which apparatus was set up incorrectly during the women's gymnastics competition at the 2000 Games in Sydney?
balance beam
bars
vault
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.

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In what sport do athletes use an epee?
boxing
swimming
fencing
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.

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Which German city hosted the games in 1936?
Munich
Berlin
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.
Hamburg

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What year did the Munich Massacre occur?
1964
1968
1972
At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, a group of Palestinian terrorists kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, holding them hostage before executing them.

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What year was boxer Roy Jones Jr. mysteriously cheated out of a well-deserved gold medal?
1988
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.
1992
1996

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How many gold medals did Marion Jones win in Sydney in 2000?
5
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.
7
9

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What city hosted the 2002 Winter Games, where several officials were later jailed for bribery?
Nagano
Vancouver
Salt Lake City
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.

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Lance Armstrong won the gold medal for cycling at the 2000 games.
TRUE
FALSE
Armstrong rode away with the bronze at the 2000 games in Sydney but later returned the medal after he admitted to doping.

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

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Which country's team housing did officials raid to gather evidence related to doping at the Turin Olympics in 2006?
Canada
Austria
Officials raided the housing of Austria's biathlon and cross country teams searching for evidence related to doping suspicions.
Germany

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What sport is Ross Rebagliati best-known for?
snowboarding
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.
skiing
figure skating

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When was South Africa finally allowed to send teams to the Olympics, after being banned from the games in 1964?
1992
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.
1996
2000

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What city hosted the Olympics — and a basketball "Dream Team" — in 1992?
Atlanta
Seoul
Barcelona
The Dream Team, which consisted largely of professional players, crushed the competition at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

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What was Evan Lysacek criticized for when he won the gold in figure skating at the 2010 Games?
not doing a quad
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.
not doing a triple axel
falling on his footwork sequence

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

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

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How much did Russia spend on the Sochi Olympics?
$21 billion
$36 billion
$51 billion
The Sochi Games were the costliest in history at $51 billion, and many questioned where exactly all this money went.

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Why was Stella Walsh able to run so fast when she raced at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles?
steroids
She was assigned male at birth.
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.
She used revolutionary training techniques.

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What human rights issue became a hot topic during the Sochi games, resulting in protests and plenty of headlines?
gay rights
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.
animal rights
women's rights

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