Friday, August 8, 2008
The Worst Team - Ever
The modern pentathlon is a unique event, allowing a chosen few to demonstrate how useless they can be not just in one sport but in five.
Though many have tried (including an Irish team that finished twelfth of twelve in Moscow), none come close to the Tunisian team of 1960.
In the riding competition, the entire team of three fell off their horses. Encouraged by this rousing start, where they scored an historic "nul points", they moved on to the swimming pool. There, one of their members almost drowned. On to the shooting range, where they were removed from the competition when officials feared for their lives.
Next was the fencing and here they had what seemed like a bright idea - at the time. Since only one member of the team had ever fenced before, they decided to keep sending him out, figuring that in the funny clothes and masks, no-one would notice. Only in the third and final bout were they rumbled.
Quite what happened on the cross-country run is unrecorded. Suffice it to say, the Tunisians finished an emphatic 17th out of 17 teams, and recorded the lowest ever team pentathlon score.
More on heroic Olympic losers at: