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2000s / Most Inept Olympic Swimmer
At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, some swimmers from developing countries were given wild card entries even though they were nowhere close to being world-class swimmers. The most famous of the bunch was 22-year-old Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea. Nicknamed Eric the Eel by the British press, Moussambani had only learned to swim eight months earlier. Because there were no swimming pools in his country, Moussambani practised in a lake. He had never seen an Olympic-sized swimming pool until his memorable 100-metres freestyle heat. Moussambani's two rival competitors in his heat (Niger's Karim Bare and Tajikistan's Farkhod Oripov) were both disqualified for false starts, so Eric the Eel was on his own. Here's the clip of his heat--in which he clocked a glacial 1:52.72. The gold medallist in the men's 100-metres freestyle won the event in just 48.30 seconds.