On February 22, 40 years ago, a bunch of college players representing the US ice hockey team defeated the top-seeded Soviet Union 4-3 in the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. This quiz is about sporting upsets.

Upset wins

1 Ice skater Steven Bradbury won the 1,000m short track event in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. What was unique about his win?

2 In the 2000 Olympics Games, wrestler Rulon Gardner defeated an Olympic great and a three-time Olympic gold medallist who had never been beaten in the past 13 years. Which wrestling legend was Gardner’s adversary?

3 In 2004, which lightly regarded South American side defeated the heavily-favoured US basketball team in the semi-finals and went on to beat Italy to win an unlikely gold medal at the Athens Olympics?

4 Who replaced teammate Wami Biratu who was ill, but could not find the right size of shoes from Adidas — the Olympic sponsors, and finally decided to run without shoes and went on become the first Sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal?

5 Who led his Zimbabwe team from the front, scoring 69 runs and taking four wickets to upset Australia in his nation’s first-ever official ODI match?

6 Which 17th seed defeated the heavily-favoured Pete Sampras in the quarter-finals and went on to win the 1996 Wimbledon singles titles?

7 In that legendary World Cup finals win in 1983, who was the bowler when Kapil Dev took a running catch to dismiss the dangerous Viv Richards and possibly turned the course of the match?

8 Lakhdar Belloumi, with one goal and an assist, was the star for which country when they defeated the mighty Germany in the 1982 World Cup?

9 The 1977 National Basketball Association finals featured the overwhelming favourites The Philadelphia 76ers, who led by their star forward Julius Erving, won the first two games. Which team came back and won the next four wins for a memorable championship?

10 In recent Premier League history, only one team has won despite being offered odds of 5,000-1 by top bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill at the start of the season. Name the team and the season.


1 He realised that his opponents were faster and he hung back waiting for a mistake. There was a mass crash and Bradbury crossed the line first as the last man standing

2 Aleksandr Karelin of Russia

3 Argentina; The Spurs player Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola were perhaps their only stars

4 Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia

5 Duncan Fletcher, later to become India’s coach

6 Dutchman Richard Krajicek

7 Madan Lal

8 Algeria, they beat Germany 2-1

9 The Portland Trail Blazers

10 Leicester City (2015- 16). It resulted in the largest ever payout in British sporting history with over 25 million pounds being disbursed


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj

social-fb COMMENT NOW