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In 1972 at Munich, two American 100-meter sprinters were disqualified from a trial heat race because they and their coaches misread the schedule and failed to appear in time for the race. And in 1972, the American basketball team suffered its only Olympic defeat ever. It was beaten in the final by the Soviets, 51-50, because it was poorly coached and played badly - and eventually was victimized by inept officiating and interference with the conduct of the game by an Olympic official.
The Soviets immediately put the ball in bounds, but the Brazilian referee halted the game, indicating an offical time-out with one second remaining. The Soviets passed the ball the length of the court in a futile attempt to score and the buzzer sounded, ostensibly ending the game.
It all seemed a piece with the foul-ups and meanness that had marked the United States throughout the competition. We had suffered major upsets in boxing and wrestling. After an American swimmer had been disqualified over the illegal use of a cold remedy given to him by an American doctor, our officials tried to deny the error. Track officials tried to fix the blame for the failure of the sprinters to show up on time on anybody but themselves. American athletes were less than gracious in accepting the dual victories of the Soviet winner of the 100and 200-meter dashes, and more than a few American athletes did not show up for, or behaved insensitively at, the memorial to the Israeli athletes slain by terrorists.