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Quote of the Day: The ’72 U.S. Olympic team is not changing their minds about the silver

Aug 26, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

“I was always taught not to take anything that didn’t belong to me,” Ratleff said Friday. “If I see a golf ball on the course and it’s not mine, I don’t pick it up. We know we did not win a silver medal. Those aren’t ours.”

via 40 years later, Team USA still defiant over controversial Olympic loss « | Hang Time Blog.

That’s Ed Ratleff speaking on the subject of accepting a silver medal 40 years after the U.S. Olympic team declined to accept them after a controversial (*cough* dirty *cough*) ending which saw a random FIBA official (and founder) walk onto the floor and get involved in the ending. It’s a stellar piece from’s Steve Aschburner and it should remain in the lore of American basketball.

It speaks to an American attitude, an American approach, and the power that that unfortunate ending still holds over the players today.

(Interesting side note: Guess what else Ratleff was around to witness first hand?)


  1. eaglesw00t - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I’m glad these guys still have that much passion for this 40 years later. It’s sad that the Russians were given 4 do-overs and the FIBA was okay with it. Even took part in it. What a disgrace

  2. somekat - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    and they never should. The best thing about Doug Collins (obviously not knowing him personally), is knowing that he has it in his will that nobody in his family is EVER to accept that silver medal for him after his death.

  3. usm418 - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    FIBA should be issuing an apology to the players of 1972 team.

  4. sdelmonte - Aug 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I would accept the silver and move on. The Cold War is over. And those games – maybe all Olympics Games – were tainted by the attack on the Israeli team. It’s not worth being petty about.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 26, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      It’s not petty. If he wanted the silver medal he could easily have it but he knows that’s not what he won. I think this is 100 times more powerful than a silver medal.

  5. phillyphann83 - Aug 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    sdelmonte, you clearly have never watched the video of what happened. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself. YouTube can be a magical place.

  6. scottieplongballs - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Take the silver and use it as a tool to smash Fools with.

  7. dcviking - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    The Israeli tragedy aside, it’s time the IOC rectifies this traveshamockery and awards the US a duplicate gold medal which the US team rightfully earned.

    If the team wants to accept silver, that is well within their right. I, however, applaud and respect them holding their ground in not accepting the silver.

  8. paulhargis53 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM


  9. paulhargis53 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    test again

  10. manchestermiracle - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    I watched that game on TV. I was 13. The game itself was compelling and close but the ending was an utter travesty. Kudos to the guys who got robbed for not accepting those silver medals. I can still remember sitting there and wondering when sanity would prevail and I can imagine how those guys felt to have the gold stolen from them.

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