A Norwegian athlete in the Winter Olympics came ridiculously close to taking home the gold medal for his country–and all because he started celebrating before crossing the finish line.
Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen and France’s Martin Fourcade were ski-to-ski when they crossed the finish line in the men’s biathlon. In fact, the judges weren’t exactly sure who crossed the line first and had to go to a photo finish to determine just who was the winner. However, it wouldn’t have been so close if Svendsen hadn’t decided to get his celebrating in a little early, just seconds before he actually crossed the finish line. An animated GIF of the moment shows Svendsen starting to slow down with Fourcade still breathing down his neck giving him the chance to eek out a victory.
Thankfully for Norway, the photo finish revealed that Svendsen finished first and wouldn’t have to go home in disgrace and face a life of constant disdain and scorn. He should consider himself lucky. Other athletes who did the same thing still have to live with the sting of such shame like this roller skating champion who celebrated way too early before crossing the finish line. It looks like such a loss might hurt but to be fair, he would probably still have felt that way after realizing that he’s a professional roller skater.
No athlete is immune from the premature celebration, not even ones from sports that we actually care about. The Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan cost his team a touchdown last season when an early celebration caused him to drop the ball just one yard before picking up six points for his team. Of course, that didn’t prevent his team from going the Super Bowl but given how badly they lost, it probably hurts more that Trevathan’s blooper didn’t do more to stop them from experiencing an even more massive fail.