Anna Hahner and Lisa Hahner are twin sisters from Germany. They finished 81st and 82nd in the Olympic marathon on Sunday. The runners crossed the finish line holding hands. It was one of those beautiful, sweet, happy Olympics moments that people love. Well, most people.
The German Athletics Federation isn’t impressed with the two runners who had a family photo finish that was more than 15-minutes slower than their career bests. So much so that someone e-mailed the New York Times about it.
“Victory and medals are not the only goal,” Thomas Kurschilgen, sports director of the German Athletics Federation, said in an email on Tuesday. “Still, every athlete in the Olympic competitions should be motivated to demonstrate his or her best performance and aim for the best possible result.”
That approach, according to Kurschilgen, is what divides elite sport from mass-participation sport and what he thinks the Hahners failed to grasp.
“Their main aim was to generate media attention,” he said. “That is what we criticize.”
If Anna had run her best time, she would have finished 8th. Lisa’s best would have been good enough for 12th. So it’s safe to say that if these two sisters hatched a nefarious plot to get some pageviews around the world, they didn’t do it at the expense of a medal. However, if this turns into a thing and launches their acting or modeling or some other career, well then. That’s not very Olympic of them. No wonder the Germans are so mad.