Does anyone remember Alex Watson? A pent athlete who went to no less than three Olympics. Anyone? Bueller?
Our tenth and final Forgotten Olympian is likely to be our least remembered entrant into the Crap Fantale Forgotten Olympian hall of fame. His effort to make it to three Olympics should not be underestimated, even if the results were unlikely to have a biography written about him.
Especially in something as demanding as a pentathlon. Where others train for an event which can finish in less than a minute, the decathletes like Alex Watson was, have to plough through 5 separate events.
- Swimming – 200m swim
- Fencing – 1 minute bouts against all competitors.
- Equestrian – show jumping where horses are decided by draw 20 minutes before start.
- Cross Country Running – 4 x 800m laps, with shooting at the start.
- Shooting – each lap of the Cross Country run begins with a shooting session. The target must be hit 5 times before starting run.
A gruelling schedule, and respect for anyone who does it.
Not many, if any, will remember Alex Watson’s 15th at the 1984 LA Olympics. They won’t remember his 63rd at the 92 Barcelona Olympics. Alex Watson will always be remembered by the controversy at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Alex Watson was sensationally disqualified for having too much caffeine in his body.
Given the current major drug shame of Russia, and that the IOC seems to spend off Olympic years taking medals off other cheats, a little extra caffeine seems harsh. Thems were the rules I guess.
In a very long and thorough report available here, Alex Watson admitted he had a few extra coffees and cans of coke. He claims it was not performance enhancing. Rather it was for hydration.
A few extras coffees you may ask. Well Alex Watson admitted that he had two cups of coffee with breakfast, then another 12 to 14 cups of brewed coffee, plus 2 cans O coke. Whilst they may not have been taken for performance enhancing, one wonders how he would ever sleep after that.
An interesting interview with the ABC dives further into the event, but the crux of the matter for Alex Watson was not having the grounds to appeal.
Alex Watson eventually got his life ban overturned, and was able to compete in Barcelona. One wonders though how much the previous Olympics hurt his campaign, and reputation.
Thankfully it looks he has found a life outside of the five way endure. For once one of the Forgotten Olympians doesn’t have too sad a story since his retirement.
The good story is Alex Watson is not forgotten by us. Therefore he should be honoured to enter our Crap Fantales Forgotten Olympians Hall of Fame.