Swedish wrestler drops his bronze medal in disgust

In a bad show of sportsmanship Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian dropped his bronze medal in the ring which he won in the 84kg greco-roman contest, as a show of protest.

Abrahamian took the bronze from around his neck during the medal ceremony, stepped down from the podium, dropped it in the middle of the wrestling ring and then walked off.

“I don’t care about this medal. I wanted gold,” he said.

A bitter Abrahamian, silver medallist at Athens 2004 who had high hopes of top honours in Beijing, announced he was quitting the sport.

“This will be my last match. I wanted to take gold, so I consider this Olympics a failure,” he said.

The Swedish wrestler had to be restrained by teammates earlier as a row erupted with judges over the decision in a semi-final bout at the Chinese Agricultural University Gym with Andrea Minguzzi of Italy, who went on to win the gold.

Abrahamian shouted at the referee and judges then went over to their row of chairs to speak to them up close. He angrily threw off the restraining arm of a team official and then turned and left.

Swedish fans booed loudly as the judges filed out of the arena. Abrahamian said nothing to waiting reporters but whacked an aluminium barricade with his fist as he left the hall.

Read more: Wrestler throws away medal

Posted by Mike 10 years ago

filed under: Men's 74-84kg, Sweden

Tags: , , , ,


Gary W.Tilton - August 16, 2008 @ 4:22 am

I think this man should be put right on a plane, sent back to his country and should be denied entry to any further olympic events. There are kids that whatch this and look up to them as hero’s and if you can’t handle defeat once in a while then you shouldn’t be on there because our kids do not need to see that. Ban him from the olympics perminently.
Gary W. Tilton

Terri - August 16, 2008 @ 5:48 am

I think it is a bad show of sportsmenship that someone would do something like that….to me it is very babyish also….we try and teach our children that it isn’t whether we win or lose but how we play the game…not everyone can have a gold medal….grow up Ara

Vts - August 16, 2008 @ 8:47 am

Of course he wanted the gold medal. But the article make it sound like that was what was most important in the protest and that wasn’t the case at all.

Ara, a veteran wrestler, took the opportunity to highlight the corruption and bad sportmanship involved in wrestling, even in the olympics. Is it better if the children learn that it is alright to accept the wrong decisions of the judges and officials? I don’t think so…

This protest was really about how the game is played and if that is not understod it of course looks incredibly bad. I can agree that Ara acted a bit out of line but I want to point out that he did it out of the right reasons!

John - August 16, 2008 @ 9:31 am

Whether there is corruption in sport or not, the world sees this as bad sportsmanship. If he has a complaint about the judging he should take it up with the proper officials. It looks bad for him and his country.

KurtGreger - August 16, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

Imagine that it’s 96-96 in the NBA semi-finals and five seconds left. Imagine that one of the teams threw the basketball into the crowd of spectators, BUT WAS NEVERTHELESS GIVEN THREE POINTS AND A PLACE IN THE FINALS. Imagine further that the guy who appointed the judge would benefit from this. Do you really thinks that the losing side would behave with grace and dignity to show that they are civilized americans ???

Anyway, the “decision” to provide Manguzzi with a free extra point to win the match effectively ended the competition in any real sence.

Neither Manguzzi, nor Abrahamian was therefore allowed to win the match, other than in a formal sence. Regardless of what he says about it, poor Manguzzi will always have to look at his stained gold medal and ask himself if he WOULD have won it in a fair competition. While Abrahamian will have the love of his people for being the wronged guy.

If the FILA officials are not investigated, wrestling ought to be banned from the olympics from now on.


KurtGreger - August 16, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

Ooh, and about the comment that Abrahamian should have talked with the proper officials. As I understand it, he and his coach tried to do just this, firstly during the competition when they asked for a video replay to check the (non-existent) background to the free extra point, and, secondly when they presented the officials with a formal complaint. In both cases, the officials did not even bother to acknowledge it, the formal complaint was e.g. not even filed, just thrown away.

If you need to protest against corrupt officials, it cannot be done by talking to them, because surprise, surprise, they will not want to listen.

Again, Manguzzi is perversely the real victim here, not being a allowed the chance to win fairly because other italians wanted to ENSURE his “victory”.


matt - August 19, 2008 @ 11:26 am

I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been there should be able to judge him. Try making wrestling your whole entire life and then getting it pretty much stolen from you in the blink of an eye. It was his bronze medal he can do whatever he wants with it… he earned it!

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