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Olympic Agony and Defeat

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For every thrilling moment of victory in sports, there is almost always an equally agonizing moment of defeat. The face-first wipeout of one athlete can open the door to success for someone else. Here's a look at some of the more bizarre thrills and agonies from the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Slice on Ice

  • Agony of Defeat - American speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno was on his way to victory in the 1,000 meter short track race. But with just meters left in the race, Apolo was bumped by a Chinese skater who sent Apolo and three other skaters crashing to the ice. Apolo got back up and finished second but required six stitches in his inner thigh after cutting himself with his own skate during the crash.
  • Thrill of Victory - The crash that knocked out Apolo allowed Steven Bradbury of Australia to cross the finish line first. Steven, who had been in last place before the crash, won Australia's first gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Steven is no stranger to speedskating mishaps himself. In 1994, he nearly died and needed 111 stitches after getting cut with a skateblade during a 1500 meter race.

    Luge Losers and Sled Savers

  • Agony of Defeat - Iginia Boccalandro of Venezuela, had a spectacular crash during the women's luge race. She lost control during one of the final turns, bounced off the wall, then slid headfirst down the slide for more than 30 meters. She briefly lost consciousness and was disqualifed from the race. A volunteer at the Olympics, who tried to grab Iginia's out-of-control sled, sliced the tip of his finger off.
  • Thrill of Victory - Drake Self, who tried to stop the sled, was given a special medal for his heroism by organizers of the luge event. He showed even more spirit by continuing to volunteer as a track sweeper for the rest of the Olympics.

    Sausage Shortage

  • Agony of Defeat - More than 400,000 hotdogs were eaten at the Olympics in the first five days of the Games - causing a sausage shortage which left thousands of spectators with empty stomaches.
  • Thrill of Victory - A Milwaukee sausage maker rose to the occasion by running around-the-clock shifts to make 200,000 wieners in a matter of days. The hotdog crisis was brought under control, quieting the rumbling stomaches of thousands of hotdog lovers.

    For more on the Winter Olympics, click here.

    Have you ever had a moment of agony while playing sports? What about a thrilling victory? about your biggest thrills and agonies.

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