9. Athens, Greece Year: Summer, 2004 Collateral damage: City´s dogs confused, possibly dead An enormous stray dog population threatened to make Athens look bad during the Olympics, but reports ahead of the games that 15,000 dogs would be poisoned made it look even worse. A war in the press followed, with city officials claiming that rounded-up dogs would be taken to shelters and then suspiciously released where they were found after the Games, while animal groups argued that doggie death squads were on the prowl. Either way, they were tough times for our four-legged friends, who just wanted some baklava crumbs and a belly rub.
8. Lillehammer, Norway Year: Winter, 1994 Collateral damage:Tonya Harding, the Tonya Harding sex tape, FOX´s Celebrity Boxing These Olympic Games burned more than Lillehammer—pretty much the whole world felt it. The reason: a trashy blonde figure skater named Tonya Harding. While the infamous Nancy Kerrigan clubbing (arranged by Harding´s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly) took place a month before the Games, the ensuing scandal dominated the Olympics. In the years that followed, we´ve been subject to arrests, a televised bout versus Clinton alleged F-buddy Paula Jones, and a leaked Harding-Gillooly sex tape. Our brains—and boners—have never recovered.
7. Beijing, China Year: Summer, 2008 Collateral damage: Men forbidden from acting like men As red-blooded American men, we enjoy hocking the occasional loog or dropping the periodic F-bomb, and we´re certain red-blooded/governed Chinese men do too. However, that conflicts with China´s new commitment to pretend etiquette, so a huge campaign is underway to clean up Beijing´s act in advance of this summer´s Games. Public spitting now draws a fine equal to a day´s pay, and the same has been recommended for cursing. What´s next, no more student protests?!
6. Atlanta, Georgia Collateral damage: One fan dead, 111 injured, one hero´s reputation ruined Richard Jewell was a big jolly security guard with a sweet mustache when he was thrust into the spotlight following a pipe bomb explosion that killed one and injured 111. Initially branded a hero for warning authorities about the suspicious backpack and evacuating Centennial Olympic Park, Jewell was made a prime suspect by the media, who were relentless. The New York Post even called him a "fat, failed former sheriff´s deputy." He was cleared by the FBI, but spent the rest of his life—he died in August 2007—clearing his name through libel suits against various outlets. That´s a lot to put up with just to live in a city full of strip clubs and homemade pecan pie. Wait, no it isn´t.
5. Olympia, Greece Year: 776 B.C. Collateral damage: Misshapen Greek penises Ever tried running completely naked or, say, wrestling another man while you were both skin-bare? (Wait, don´t answer that.) Participants in early Olympics had a dubious idea for curbing all the flopping knobs and incidental sword fights that mark any great nude athletic competition. That idea was the Kynodesme, a leather strip tied from the foreskin to either a belt or the base of the, um, man javelin. Was it protective? Not in the least. Did it set Greeks on an evolutionary path of deformed dingalings? Probably.
4. Mexico City, Mexico Year: Summer, 1968 Collateral damage: Possibly hundreds of lives, democracy Long before the U.S. government made hunting Mexicans fashionable, their own government pioneered it. After agent provocateurs planted in a plaza of pro-democracy demonstrators busted off some starter rounds, army troops went loco, opening fire on anything wearing a weedy mustache. Depending on who you believe, anywhere between 20 and 320 people were shot to death, but the government didn´t bother investigating the incident for nearly 30 years. (Hey, that´s still faster than Mexico´s 4x400 relay team.)
3. Munich, Germany Year: Summer, 1972 Collateral damage: Jews become even less trusting of Germans Remember the Holocaust? Twenty-seven years after World War II, the Olympics came to Deutschland. And wouldn´t you know it, a group of Palestinian terrorists managed to work its way into the Olympic Village and take a group of Israeli athletes and coaches hostage. Several hours and one botched German rescue attempt later, all of the hostages were dead. Three surviving terrorists were captured, and then later released.
2. Seoul, South Korea Year: Summer, 1988 Collateral damage: Assorted raping and pillaging Military dictatorships are rarely kind to locals on hot-button issues, and South Korea´s leaders didn´t take kindly to the community´s reluctance to host the Games. According to the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Eviction, the government displaced 720,000 people in Seoul to make way for Olympic visitors, empowering private security forces to utilize such proven tactics as rape, beatings, and arson to break the resistance. Is that how ‘Olympic spirit’ translates into Korean? 1. Montreal, Quebec Year: Summer, 1976 Collateral damage:Three decades of crippling debt With the city burning money building new venues instead of relying on old ones, Mayor Jean Drapeau famously said the Olympics "can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby." Montreal then plunged so far into debt that the Quebec government had to take over the show. Montreal´s taxpayers didn´t finish paying the tab until 2006, when all the city had to show for it was a huge, hideous Olympic Stadium, which never worked as intended and has sat empty since the Expos fled town in 2004.