The athletes who definitely didn't embody the spirit of the 2016 Olympics


The Rio Olympics were a huge success, despite repeated predictions of failure beforehand.

Pundits had claimed pollution, crime, the zika virus and mass protests would derail the nation and lead to an embarrassing, disorganised Games.

Yet, more than 11,000 top-level athletes successfully competed across 28 sports under intense international scrutiny in the first South American-held Olympics.

Team GB did all right we guess (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Team GB did brilliantly (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The diving pool turned green, but that was really the only problem throughout the entire event.

But there were some athletes who didn't quite embody the Olympic spirit.

The golfers pulled out

Mcilroy was a mis-hit (David Davies/PA)
Rory McIlroy was a mis-hit (David Davies/PA)

Golf, that revered game of etiquette, was hoping to return to the Olympics for the first time in more than 100 years with a fireworks-filled show.

But fears about the zika virus stripped the game of its star names at a time when it needed to make the bravest, boldest comeback possible.

Fourteen male golfers, including the high-profile Jason Day, Vijay Sing and Rory McIlroy, pulled out of Rio because of concerns over the virus.

Oddly, just one female player, South African Lee-Anne Pace, failed to compete for the same reason.

McIlroy said: "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take."

Poor form.

Those Mongolian wrestling coaches

Mongolia coaches stripping off ( Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Mongolian coaches stripping off ( Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

The stripteasing pair were disappointed their boy Mandakhnaran Ganzorig was denied a bronze medal against his Uzbekestani opponent.

The coaches, Tserenbaatar Tsogbayar and Byambarinchen Bayaraa, did the Full Monty and hurled their clothes around in a strop to protest against the refereeing decision.

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Removing their shirts in front of the judges' table, they flexed their muscles and threw their shoes on the mat while the crowd roared in support, chanting: "Mon-gol-ia! Mon-gol-ia!"

One said after the episode: "This was a protest. Three million people in Mongolia waited for this bronze medal and now we have no medal... 100% of the stadium supported us."

According to the Mongolian federation, both were banned from international competition for three years - meaning they'll be back for the next Olympics. Yeeha!

Ryan Lochte

Who, me? (Michael Sohn/AP)
Who, me? (Michael Sohn/AP)

The luminous-haired, perma-fratboy villain of the entire Rio piece.

Lochte claimed he and some fellow swimmers were held up at gunpoint by hoax policemen as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party.

But CCTV showed they were actually in a confrontation with security guards after vandalising a petrol station toilet.

The 12-time medallist was a golden boy of US sports, but fell spectacularly from grace following the affair.

Lochte issued several mea culpas afterward to try and save his tattered image, but couldn't stop brands like Speedo and Ralph Lauren pulling their sponsorship - costing him millions.

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Hope Solo, #zikaproof US goalkeeper

The pre-Rio tweet, of Solo with a mosquito net, balaclava and bottle of insect repellent, was seen as mocking a nation in the clutches of an epidemic.

Things went from bad to worse as Solo was booed and jeered every time she took a goal-kick during the tournament.

Then, the situation shifted to downright awful as she called Sweden a "bunch of cowards" for playing defensively when they knocked the US out in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out.

She was suspended from football for six months for the comments.

Judo and the handshake that wasn't

Egypt's Islam El Shehaby, declines to shake hands (Markus Schreiber/AP)
Egypt's Islam El Shehaby refuses to shake hands (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Egyptian Judoka Islam El Shehaby was sent home from the Games in disgrace for refusing to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent.

He had lost to Or Sasson in the over 100kg competition, then declined the Israeli's outstretched offer of good sportsmanship, an act met with boos from the crowd

The International Olympic Committee called the action "contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic values", and sent El Shehaby home.

Apart from this rogues' gallery, most of the Games went swimmingly.

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We saw records and hearts broken, dreams made and crushed, and years of training played out in just a few milliseconds.

There will be another series of high-drama incidents in Tokyo, so join us for the rundown in four years' time.

Until then.