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Scandal has haunted the Olympic Games in modern times. At the very first Games, an Englishman called Flack (01) set off briskly in front of the (02) field in the marathon. He was (03) accompanied by his butler on a bicycle.. When they neared Athens, he (04) sent the butler back to (05) see who was behind him. The butler went back about a mile but found nobody. He rode back to Flack and said, "There's nobody. You can win this thing on your head." Then soon after, (06) up ran one Greek, then another, and another, and another. They were full of running. Perhaps Flack took a long (07) way round?
At the next Marathon, in 1900, in Paris, the winner was a Frenchman who worked as a baker's roundsman. It was (08) strongly suspected that he was able to take numerous short (09) cuts because of his experience delivering bread in the area.
Four years later, the Games were held in St Louis, in the USA. This (10) time suspicions were proved, and the scandal great. The American runner who finished first in the marathon was discovered to have accepted a (11) lift from a car. He was disqualified.
It is not so much the scandals and disputes of recent years that have (12) threatened the Games. It is their sheer (13) enormity, their excessive cost, their indulgence of national pride. One very sensible suggestion is that future Games should be restricted to individual (14) events in which one person clearly wins. All team games would go, and no one would feel any loss at the disappearance of Olympic soccer, a pale (15) shadow of the more professional game.