Olympics Cycling Event Ends in Chaos After Disastrous Crash
This is not the glorious finish these athletes were hoping for.
One thing you don't expect to see when you tune into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics: chaos. That's exactly what viewers got as an Olympic track-cycling race came to an end and two riders collided. In addition to the crash, words were exchanged, and a Danish rider nearly cost his whole team their shot at Olympic gold.
The collision occurred as Team Denmark led Great Britain in the final lap of the men's track-cycling event. Danish cyclist Frederik Madsen collided with the backend of Great Britain's Charlie Tanfield, tossing them both from their bikes. In the aftermath of the crash, Madsen was reportedly heard dropping an expletive in the direction of his British competitor, according to a report by Insider. You can watch a clip from the incident on NBC Sport's YouTube channel.
As track-cycling is a team sport, it's judged based on the time of the last rider which, in both Denmark and Great Britain's case would have been Madsen and Tanfield. Due to the crash, neither was able to finish the race as planned, which led to some confusion as to who would move on to the next race with a gold medal at stake. Great Britain's final time was more than half a minute behind any other team in the race following the crash.
There was some buzz about Denmark being disqualified because of the crash, but that was not the case. It was later confirmed that Denmark would be competing for the gold against Italy in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Great Britain will only be able to compete for places in either 7th or 8th.
As if that's not dramatic enough, British cyclers were already calling for the Danes to be disqualified before the race even happened. The country's performance director, Stephen Park, previously told the media he thought Denmark was breaking the rules by sporting tape and undervests during Monday's race. According to the rules, nothing can be applied to the skin before track-cycling events.
"Do I think they should be disqualified? I don't think there is any alternative," Park told the media, according to Fox Sports. "The rules are clear. It says you cannot apply something to the skin. They have applied something to the skin. It says in the specific rule that if you break that rule, your option is for being eliminated or disqualified, so they have no option. There is no doubt in anyone else's mind that it is deliberate."
Apparently, the powers that be disagree with Park's point of view, however. Denmark and Italy will face off for the Olympic gold on Wednesday. Hopefully without incident this time.