Swedish wrestler throws away Olympic bronze medal, leaves

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Ara Abrahamian, an Armenian-born wrestler from Sweden, received a bronze medal in the 84kg class of Greco-Roman wrestling. During the award ceremony on Thursday, Abrahamian stepped down from the podium, took off his medal and dropped it onto the wrestling mat. He then angrily left and was later quoted as saying "I don’t care about this medal. I wanted gold."

Abrahamian was upset about a decision in his semi-final loss to eventual gold medal winner Andrea Minguzzi from Italy. His coach, Leo Myllari, seemed to agree that he had been unfairly treated by the judges. "It's all politics," Myllari said, though he did not indicate if he was going to file an official protest.

Cquote1.svg I don’t care about this medal. I wanted gold. Cquote2.svg

—Ara Abrahamian

Abrahamian participated in the bronze-medal bout, but only after friends pleaded with him. "I decided that I had come this far and didn't want to let them down, so I wrestled," said Abrahamian. "This will be my last match. I wanted to take gold, so I consider this Olympics a failure," the 33-year-old Swede said. Abrahamian won a silver medal back in the 2004 summer olympics in Athens.

"Certainly one can always question decisions made in the course of refereeing, but in sports it is appropriate to show sportsmanship and accept the results," said gold-winner Minguzzi, who was unhappy that his celebration was spoiled.

The International Olympic Committee said there will be a disciplinary hearing.


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