The Price of Gold: 6 Olympic Figures Who Found Themselves Behind Bars
From glory to shame, these Olympic figures made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
As the Olympics continue in Rio, the best athletes from around the world are becoming household names.
But winning isn't the only thing some former Olympic figures are known for.
The 29-year-old South African track and field star known as “Blade Runner” is serving six years in a South African prison for the 2013 killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius, a double amputee, claimed he shot Steenkamp through the locked door of his bathroom during the Valentine’s Day murder because he believed she was an intruder.
Pistorius competed in the 400-meter sprint during the 2012 London Games and never took home a medal, however, he made international headlines due to his ability to run on prosthetic blades.
In August 2016, the former Olympian was hospitalized after suffering a wrist injury in prison. His family said he simply fell in his cell after speculation that he tried to kill himself.
Pistorius told officials that he suffered the injuries after falling out of bed, according to a spokesman for the South Africa's correctional services department. He was returned to his cell after being briefly hospitalized.
John du Pont
(Du Pont, center, instructs at Foxcatcher. Image via Getty)
The eccentric heir to the DuPont Corporation, John du Pont, had an obsession with wrestling and, despite never previously competing in the sport himself, opened an amateur wrestling program on his Pennsylvania property, Foxcatcher Farm, in the mid-80s.
Among wrestlers who trained at the facility, Du Pont invited the Schultz brothers, Dave and Mark, to train at his estate. The brothers would later help younger wrestlers train inside the compound.
Dave Schultz, who won gold at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, was eyeing a comeback for the Atlanta Games. But du Pont shot and killed the 36-year-old at the farm 8 months before the Olympics.
Du Pont was found to be mentally ill but guilty of third-degree murder in 1997. He was sentenced to 13-30 years behind bars and passed away in December 2010 of acute pneumonia.
Du Pont and the Schultz brothers story was immortalized in the 2014 film "Foxcatcher," staring Steve Carell as the millionaire, Mark Ruffalo as the late wrestler and Channing Tatum as his brother.
Two-time American Olympian Tim Montgomery took home gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney for the 4x100 meter relay. The South Carolina native once held a record for 100-metre sprint but all of that was tarnished after he was sentenced to prison for drug possession with intent to distribute.
In 2008, Montgomery was serving time in prison for pleading guilty to money laundering charges. He had been accused of writing bogus checks worth $1.7 million.
As his prison sentence was coming to an end, he was convicted in a Virginia court of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of more than 100 grams of heroin.
The runner was given the minimum sentence of five years in jail but only served four-and-a-half due to good behavior. In 2012, he was placed in halfway house for a period of time before entering home confinement. He is currently on parole, which will end later this year.
"There's nothing else I want," he told USA Today in 2013. "I had everything else — fast cars, had money, had clothes, had jewelry, traveled the world. I still ended up at the bottom."
The 41-year-old lives in Gainesville, Florida where he works as a personal trainer and running coach.
"I didn't lose at the first part of my life. I just made a bad choice. But I won't lose at the second part of my life,” he said in the interview.
Former Czech Republic boxer Ludovit Plachetka has made more headlines outside of the ring than in it.
The former Olympian, who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Games, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 1998 after being found guilty in a Czech court of killing his then-girlfriend’s mother and for the attempted murder of his then-girlfriend. She survived only because his gun jammed, according to the court.
The disgraced boxer only served nine years and was released in 2007. Following his release from prison, he returned to the ring, never to compete in the Olympics or any major tournament again.
In 2012, at 41, he was found guilty of raping his girlfriend’s 20-year-old sister the year prior. He was sentenced to eight years and is currently serving his term in a Czech prison.
Two-time gold medalist Humberto Mariles proudly represented Mexico in the 1948 London Olympics and the 1952 Helsinki Games. But the equestrian would later find himself spending a majority of his post-Olympic life behind bars.
In 1964, Mariles was involved in a violent road rage confrontation where he shot the driver of another vehicle. He was sentenced to prison for 25 years but only served five after being granted a presidential pardon.
In 1972 he was caught in a drug trafficking bust in Paris. He died in his prison cell that same year at age 59. His death still remains a mystery; it is unknown if he was killed in jail or suicide.
An American gold medalist for shooting, James Snoop was victorious in the 1920 Antwerp Games.
Nine years after the Olympics, Snook, a professor at Ohio State and pillar of his community, confessed to the murder of his mistress, Theora Hix.
After Hix went missing, police discovered her hat and gloves in his car. He was arrested and confessed to taking a hammer to Hix’s head, stabbing her in the stomach and cutting her throat. Her body was discovered in tall grass outside a rifle range where the couple had been prior to the killing.
Snook was found guilty when the case went to trial. He was sentenced to death and died on the electric chair in 1930.
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