Thursday, August 18, 2016

Olympic Spot



"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part . . . "

- Pierre de Coubertin


At the 1960 Rome Olympics Tunisia sent three athletes to compete in the Pentathlon. In the individual competition they finished in 56th, 57th and 58th. Dead last. One of the Tunisians, Ahmed Ennachi, took more than 17 minutes to finish the riding portion (the next longest was 10 minutes).

Surprisingly, the Tunisians found a way lower the bar even further in the team competition.

First up was the riding portion. Things did not start out well as all three competitors fell off their horses. The team was given a historic score of zero.

The swimming was the second event that the team would need to struggle their way through. The Tunisians scored a 1,260 which is impressive when you consider that one of the team couldn't swim and almost drowned in the competition.

Third up was the shooting. The Tunisians finished with a 1,340 just 140 points behind Germany. They may have finished ahead of Germany if one of the team wasn't removed from the competition after he almost shot an official.

Things didn't look any more hopeful for the fencing as only one of the three Tunisians knew how to fence. The team hoped nobody would notice if they sent the same team member up three times with his helmet on. Officials did notice and they were awarded a paltry 768 points (second last Great Britain had 1,700).

The final event was the cross-country run. Tunisia finished strong (well, relatively speaking) and scored their highest score of 1,758 ... we guess it's pretty hard to mess a run up. They still finished in last place, but only by 350 points.

Other than Tunisia, every country finished with a score between 10,000 and 15,000. The total score for Team Tunisia was only 5,126 marking one of the worst performance by a team in Olympic history.


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