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5 Athletes Who Rejected Their Awards

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Passion is what drives a sportsman into bracing the call of making an impossible a possible! And while an award awaits him at the end of the line, with the forbidding eyes of victory as an obligation, it certainly triggers the passion

more into him substantially! But what if an award isn’t the ultimate boon? What if events lead you to turn your back to an award that promised you glory otherwise? Interesting as it is, surprisingly, the examples are no less in existence!

Among the lot, we have handpicked top 5 Athletes who rejected their awards. Read on!

5 athletes who rejected their awards

5. Ara Abrahamian

athletes who rejected their awards

Ara Abrahamian is probably the most striking name to be included in the list for athletes who rejected their awards. A representative for Sweden at the Beijing Games, Ara was defeated in his semifinal clash in Greco-Roman 84kg round of wrestling due to what he accused to be “blatant errors in judging.” Abrahamian had to be coaxed from wrestling officials following the incident and initially refused to take part in the bronze-medal match until he was convinced. Abrahamian had won the bronze, but took off the medal immediately from his neck while the award ceremony was on the run, chucked it in the midst of the mat and readily walked away. The IOC disqualified Abrahamian for such a conduct that humiliated the other athletes and also the Olympic movement and took away his medal. Well, he had already made a statement about that anyway, didn’t he?

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4. Shin a lam

athletes who rejected their awards

The South Korean fencer is also a rightful inclusion to the compilation of athletes who rejected their awards. Shin A-Lam gave us one of the unforgettable images at the London Olympics, 2012, when she drew all eyes to her hour-long, full – of – tears and much vocal protest after being defeated by Germany’s Britta Heinemann in an epee semifinal battle. He believed that she was already through to the final, but since the clock was reset, Heinemann pounced, and earned what appeared to settle a decisive hit. Shin collapsed in tears again and sat right on the runway, while her opponent started celebrating, she stayed there, a forlorn image.

Unfortunately enough, Shin A-Lam also had to lose her bronze medal battle against China’s Sun Yujie.

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3. Robert Harting

athletes who rejected their awards

German discus winner Robert Harting is a deservedly addition to the athletes who rejected their awards. He made an appeal to be erased from the shortlist for the 2014 award for the ‘athlete of the year’ award, due to the reason that formerly banned sprinter Justin Gatlin was also nominated for the very same.

Popular US sprinter Gatlin was banned during an interval of 4 years, from 2006 to 2010, after succumbing to a doping test and Robert, who had secured the Olympic gold in 2012 London Olympic, had appealed to the International Association of Athletics Federations to eliminate his name from the list.

“I asked the IAAF to remove me from the list,” Harting exclaimed. “I find the nomination great, yet I stand for it alongside a known former doping offender and for that reason I asked to be removed from the list. “Harting forcefully exclaimed that the nomination alongside Gatlin was an insult “not only for me but also for my fans” and protested that the IAAF should “use honesty in their evaluation” for the same award.

“If the IAAF doesn’t fully understand the difference, then they should just forget about it,” added further the champion.

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2. Lionel Messi

athletes who rejected their awards

Among the athletes who rejected their awards , this is unarguably the most famous name. Messi had rejected the ‘Man of the Match’ award following Argentina’s Copa America embarrassing draw against Paraguay.

Lionel Messi was reported to be so vigorously frustrated with Argentina’s opening match performance and the humiliating settle for draw at the Copa America that he blatantly refused to accept a sponsor’s ‘Man of the Match’ award after Paraguay overcame Argentina’s initial lag, and came from behind to ensure a 2-2 tie.

The Barcelona superstar led his country into a 2-0 lead before interval at Estadio La Portada, netting the second from the penalty spot, right before Paraguay struck a chord and shocked the dark horse squad in Chile.

Nelson Haedo Valdez along with Lucas Barrios reacted late to make Argentina be satisfied with a point – but Messi was visibly unhappy with the team’s display after going through an incredibly glittering season at club level.

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1 .Hugo Wieslander and F.R. Bie

athletes who rejected their awards

At the then much reported 1912 Stockholm Games, Native American Jim Thorpe cracked the gold medal in the events of pentathlon and decathlon. But, even less than a year later, a newspaper correspondent unveiled that Thorpe had actively took part in professional baseball in the years 1909 and 1910, and that should prove him to be  ineligible to participate in the Olympics. Thorpe confessed that he had denied his amateur status and the IOC strictly instructed him to return all his trophies and medals.

After crossing off Thorpe’s name from the record register, the IOC announced Hugo Wieslander, the Swedish, who secured the second position in the event of decathlon, and also F.R. Bie of Norway, who stood second in the event of pentathlon, as the deserving winners of each individual event. But both of them bluntly refused to accept their gold medals. In the year 1982, the IOC came up with a decision to restore Thorpe’s winning gold medals, but to date the organization continues to consider Bie and Wieslander as the co-winners of the very event.

Some stories are worth the notice in their own merit, and this glimpse at the events stated above will certainly claim their own recognition!

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