Quinten Hann

 Australian former professional snooker Quinten Hann had what is politely described as a ‘chequered’ career, which finally came to an igmonimious end, at the age of 28, in February, 2006. The previous year, Hann had agreed, with undercover journalists from ‘The Sun’ newspaper, to lose a match at the forthcoming China Open for £50,000. The agreement, alone, was sufficient for Hann to be charged with match-fixing, but three days before a disciplinary hearing he effectively resigned as a professional. At the hearing, which he did not attend, he was found guilty, banned for eight years by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.

Hann played in the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on six occasions, but never progressed beyond round two and is probably best remembered for his first round match against Andy Hicks in 2004, which ended acrimoniously. The unseeded Hicks won 10-4 but, having been goaded by Hann in the middle of the match, retorted with ‘That’s you out of the top 16’ as the pair shook hands. Hann responded by telling Hicks, ‘You’re short and bald and you always will be’, and offered to fight him outside. Ultimately, referee Lawrie Annadale stood between the two players to prevent them coming to blows.

The following June, taking advantage of the ‘white collar’ boxing phenomenon, Hann satisfied his desire to fight a fellow snooker professional when facing off against Mark King in a six-minute charity boxing match at York Hall. Both men obtained amateur boxing licences and trained seriously, but the bout, dubbed ‘Pot Whack’, soon descended into an all-out brawl, with Hann winning on points.

Fish Football

Fish football! from r/AnimalsBeingDerps

1904 Olympic Marathon

 The Games of the III Olympiad were an oddity to start with. Originally awarded to Chicago, Illinois by the International Olympic Committee, they were transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, where they became part of the World’s Fair, known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, celebrating the centenary of the United States’ acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France.

The marathon, though, was one of the most bizarre events of its kind in Olympic history. In the days before the marathon distance was standardised at 26 miles and 385 yards, the race was run over just shy of 25 miles, on a hilly, dusty, perilously-maintained course, deliberately devoid of access to fresh water after 12 miles and subject to temperatures of 90ºF or more. Unsurprisingly, more than half of the 32 starters failed to complete the course.

Furthermore, the original ‘winner’, American Fred Lorz was in the process of receiving the gold medal from Alice Roosevelt, daughter of US President when it was discovered that he had not run the full distance and, in fact, far from it. After nine miles, suffering from cramps, he had hitched a lift in a passing vehicle, from which he did not alight until beyond the twenty-mile mark. Once his subtefuge was revealed, Lorz claimed he had finished the race as a ‘joke’ and was summarily disqualified in favour of compatriot Thomas Hicks.

However, Hicks was hardly the epitome of athletic excellence, relying om strychnine, egg whites and brandy, administered by a pair of accomplices, to bolster his performace over the closing miles. Pale, exhausted and hallucinatory, he got his second wind on learning that Lorz had been disqualified but, even so, could barely put one foot in front of the other at the finish and had to be all but carried over the line by his collaborators.

Balancing Act

Olympic Gold Medalist, Katie Ledecky, swims with a glass of chocolate milk on her head from r/sports

Olympic Gold Medalist, Katie Ledecky, swims with a glass of chocolate milk on her head