Imagine dedicating your life to the pursuit of excellence in a sport. You wake up at 4 a.m. every morning and hit the gym, slopes, ice rink, or whatever, to begin a daily training regimen to slowly but surely make yourself one of the greatest athletes in the world. You reach the trials, succeed, and head off to the biggest sports stage there is: the Olympic Games.

Then, when it’s your big moment, you do your very best and fulfill your potential and push your body to its limit to deliver a remarkable feat of athletic achievement, but all that anybody wants to talk about — and all that will dominate the first 50 pages of results when somebody does an online search for your name — is how your shirt snapped in half or a private body part fell out while you were out there skating, skiing, or swimming. 

Fate is cruel, and reality is twisted. Here are some of the most embarrassing and shocking “wardrobe malfunctions” to ever befall Olympic athletes.

Rummel is the full package: Harvard-educated and an Olympic rower. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he was part of the crew that won the bronze medal in the not-at-all accurately titled “coxless four” event. 

Rummel’s clothes didn’t fall apart or allow something inappropriate to sneak out. Rather, his wardrobe was so, so tight that it left absolutely nothing to the imagination. This is to say that when the team accepted its medals and held Old Glory aloft, the only thing people were looking at was Rummel’s shorts (second from left.) And, well, he seemed to be very excited about competing in the Olympics.

He even talked to Cosmopolitan about all the press his private part generated. “I took it kind of tongue-in-cheek and I thought it was hilarious, but my wife didn’t like it. She didn’t like that everyone was talking about that and not about me winning a medal at the Olympics.” Fair enough.

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