There's something invigorating about watching an underdog rise, especially at the Olympic Games. Finding a way to beat the odds among the greatest athletes on the planet with all the nations' leaders watching is enough to get any audience giddy. "Upsets resonate in the Olympics because the games provide global stages for nations to play out socio-political struggles," says Mark Dyreson, Penn State kinesiology professor and Olympics expert. The biggest shockers at the Olympics frequently include two geopolitical rivals battling to the finish, but just as often they entail an individual rising up to earn a medal. In other cases, a bit of luck is on their side. Here are 10 of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.
Great Britain over Canada, Hockey, Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
After winning the first six Olympic gold medals, Canada looked to cruise again in Germany. But the UK, not exactly known as a hockey powerhouse, stacked its roster with second-tier Canadians and took advantage of a wonky round-robin tournament format to pull off the shocker. The Brits haven't had a qualifying hockey team for the Olympics since 1948.
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