An Olympian Learned He Got Disqualified On Live Television After Winning A Silver Medal

Associate Editor
08.20.16
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No one had a crazier Saturday night than Paul Chelimo, an American runner who competed in the men’s 5,000 meters. Chelimo crossed the finish line second, which would lead you to think that he took home a silver medal, right?

Well, as it turns out, someone decided that Chelimo needed to be disqualified. According to SB Nation, Chelimo allegedly broke rule 163.3(b), which says that a runner’s not allowed to cross the inside border of a track.

That seems pretty cut and dry, but there was one huge issue: no one thought it would be a good idea to tell Chelimo before he went onto NBC for his post-match interview. Leslie Jones summed up everyone’s feelings on this.

It was bizarre, and it left everyone in a really awkward position: NBC because it had to tell Chelimo (well, it didn’t HAVE to, but it did), and Chelimo because he learned about this on live television. He was understandably taken aback, because this is the worst possible way to learn that you lost out on a silver medal.

But don’t worry, this all ended up working out for Chelimo in the end. The decision to disqualify Chelimo was appealed and the decision was overturned, meaning that he got his silver medal back.

Still, this kind of thing shouldn’t happen. Chelimo got the biggest gut punch possible on live television, and while the decision got overturned, hopefully this never happens to any other Olympian again.

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