The Olympics are about many things. They are about superstars such as Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant, and dazzling sports such as gymnastics and diving. But they're also about athletes such as Ronda Rousey, who became the first American woman to medal in judo, taking home a bronze in honor of her mother, who was a world judo champion but couldn't compete in the Olympics because there was no women's judo in the Olympics at the time. And it's about Tuvshinbayar Naidan, a wrestler-turned-judoka who wept as he became the first Mongolian to earn a Olympic gold medal, setting off a massive celebration in his nation's capital.
All of which makes the actions of Ara Abrahamian all the more infuriating. The Greco-Roman wrestler from Sweden, feeling cheated after losing his semifinal to Italy's Andrea Minguzzi, won the third-place match, took his bronze medal - then walked off the podium, snatched his prize from around his neck, dropped in the middle of the wrestling mat and stormed out of the arena.
I don't know whether Abrahamian had a legitimate beef or not - God knows worse has happened at the Olympics. But his actions were unforgivable, an affront to all of the competitors who have won medals and the many more who are in Beijing knowing that they have no chance to land on the medal stand, but who give their all anyway. Rousey was seen as having a legitimate change at gold, but I don't see her bitching and moaning about having to "settle" for the bronze. Being the third-best athlete in the world in your sport is nothing to sneeze at.
The IOC is investigating his actions, but for me there can be only one resolution to this matter. Abrahamian (who says he is quitting his sport anyway) should be thrown out of the Olympic village and banned from his sport permanently. And give his bronze to someone who will actually appreciate it.