Sports’ events always draw in big spectator crowds with eager fans desperate to celebrate the trials and hardships that are overcome by the human spirit. But sometimes the audience gets even more than they bargained for when the inevitable human error comes into play, making for a funny, awkward or even downright cringing moment. Here are some of the more memorable sports’ ceremony bloopers.
The massive budget cut from R46m to R27m might have played a part but overall the 2012 SA Sports’ Awards were just cringeworthy from start to finish. Using sports’ anchors as MCs for the event might seem good in theory, but Robert Marawa and Carol Tshabalala just didn’t have the charisma to captivate the audience and the awards’ presenters were just uncomfortable from the start. But the lowlight of the evening was after Tokyo Sexwale presented golden boy, Chad le Clos, with the Sportsman of the Year award. MC, Carol Tshabalala was about to hand over to Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, who would present keys to Le Clos for a brand new R1m BMW, when Sexwale took back the mic, attempted some joke but just made a fool of himself by referring to Le Clos as ‘Le Claude’. Exit stage left.
It was a great night for tennis superstar, Andy Murray, as he became the first person to win the BBC Sports’ Personality of the Year three times, however, it was also an overwhelmingly awkward experience for the entire Murray family. But then the British do awkward so well. Starting outside on the red carpet, Andy’s mother, Judy Murray, was approached by interviewer, Tom Daley. In a possible attempt to show her ‘fun-loving’ side, 57-year-old Judy said, ‘I thought you’d be really tall’ to the 5ft 8inch Olympic diver who then replied, quite confused, ‘Ah, oh, am I?’. The two fumbled through this painful exchange before Tom swiftly changed topic.
Then onto the evening events with Andy Murray receiving the top award via satellite, linking him in from Miami. During his acceptance speech, Murray admits that his wife, Kim, didn’t vote for him as Sports’ Personality, but rather for his rival, Nick Skelton. Nice. Following his acceptance speech, Murray is kept for a painful 70 seconds of nothingness while the BBC ran the credits, all the while keeping the film running. Essentially millions of people just watched in captivated excruciation as Murray is made to smile falteringly at the camera for what seems like eternity.
— Celia Monroe (@SarcyFringehead) December 18, 2016
It was a short-lived celebration for Manchester United player, Jesse Lingard, after he was handed the Man of the Match trophy from fellow player, Juan Mata – on instruction from Sky Sports reporter, Geoff Shreeves – only to have it taken away and given to the true gong recipient, Mata. It seems Shreeves had got it all wrong and just made for an embarrassing situation for everyone involved.
It was an hilarious moment for South African TV watchers everywhere – although probably not for wife of soccer player, Mohammed Anas – when the match’s two-goal scorer started thanking people during the Free State/Cape Town post-match interview. Anas, overflowing with joy, mentioned his love for both his wife…and his girlfriend…in one sentence. “I appreciate my fans, my wife and my girlfriend,” he said, before attempting to backtrack with: “Sorry to say, I’m so sorry, my wife! I love you so much. I love you so much from my heart.” Two goals and two girls is just too much for Anas, it seems.
For a rugby-mad nation such as South Africa, the national anthem before any match is a very serious affair. This is what makes the rendition by reggae ‘singer’ Ras Dumisani – sung before an international match – just so unbearable to watch. Completely off-key and with many of the words muddled, Dumisani completely mauled the beloved anthem, with players, fans and even politicians baying for blood by the end.
Fast forward to 2011 and the South African Springbok squad announcement is being televised. The national anthem needs to be sung but there can be no messing with the anthem after the 2009 debacle. Call in South African singing legend, Ard Matthews of Just Jinjer fame as he’s sure to do his own country’s anthem real justice. Wrong. Matthews bungled, forgot and botched the words and it made for some seriously toe-curling viewing. At least he was remorseful afterwards.
The Olympics attract record viewer numbers as the whole world tunes in to see who will be bringing home the gold and who will fall short. From running and swimming to high jump and hockey, there is so much to watch, but a definite highlight for many is the Olympic opening ceremony. The grandeur, the spectacle, the carefully choreographed local dances performed in front of mesmerising light displays… it’s just captivating. So when the host country trips up on such a big stage, it’s bound to attract some attention.
It’s always important to get the timing of animal releases and fire just right. Something the organising committee of the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul didn’t pay enough attention to when a flock of white doves – the universal symbol of peace – went up in smoke after an unlucky few landed on the cauldron just as it was being lit.
An unfortunate lightbulb failure left the Russians one ring short during the 2014 Olympics. The fifth ring on the iconic Olympics symbol failed to light completely as it was being lifted ceremoniously into the sky. Instead it was four rings and what appeared to be an asterisk. Always check the bulbs…
What seemed, on the face of it, to be a beautiful performance by nine-year-old Lin Miaoke singing the national anthem, turned into a PR disaster when it was revealed that the youngster was actually lip-syncing. The real songstress was seven-year-old Yang Peiyi who wasn’t given the spotlight because of her ‘bad teeth’.