The 50 Biggest Fails in Summer Olympics History

38. Marathon Heartbreak

Who: Dorando Pietri
Olympics: London 1908

Italian Dorando Pietri entered the stadium leading the marathon in the original London Olympics, but was disoriented and exhausted. He started the final lap in the wrong direction and collapsed multiple times on the lap. After getting up on his own will several times, he was eventually aided across the finish line by doctors. The assistance unfortunately led to his disqualification to the dismay of the crowd that wanted him to defeat the American, Johnny Hayes, who was eventually named the winner. Queen Alexandra was so moved by his effort that she presented him with a silver cup after the competition.

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