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Dave Wotttle was in the podium receiving his gold medal for the 800m race. The iconic picture instil the memory of a controversy. The reason for the national anthem controversy was an unintentional faux pas.

Dave forgot to remove his golden cap in the overwhelming moment while the U.S National Anthem was playing. Many in those days interpreted it as a form of protest. The national anthem controversy took the sheen away from the stellar win.


The scene was the finals of 800m race at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics.

All eyes were on Yevgeny Arzhanov of the Soviet Union, a fan favourite.

David Wottle of the USA was one among the participants. David wore a peculiar gold cap in the race to keep his long hair away from face.

The race had just begun. All other participants raced past Dave.

Read an excerpt taken from the Olympic video:

Dave never gave up.

Tendinitis in knees hampered his training in the weeks leading up to the olympics.

He got off to a slow start.

There was a little bit of terror in the beginning and he found himself far behind in the race.

He was 8 to 10 meters behind and he felt that he was just out of the race.

And midway, he get this feeling, ‘ I’m in the race now. I have regained contact with the pack’. And he just tried to stay within a striking distance.

He figured that he was just going to go for the third place.

And at the dying moments, this happened.



image courtesy: toledo blade

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