One of the worst nightmares for any announcer is misidentifying key players at a sporting event and getting a game-winning, championship-winning, or gold medal-winning call dead wrong. Unfortunately for the CBC announcer Elliotte Friedman, that’s exactly what happened in the highly anticipated 200 meter IM gold medal race featuring Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
On Thursday night at the Rio Olympics, Phelps won his 22nd Olympic gold medal by winning his fourth consecutive 200 meter individual medley at the Olympics.
Phelps and Lochte were the top two seeds entering the final heat respectively. Although Phelps had dominated the event at the Olympics, it’s Lochte that holds the world record in the event. Phelps was in lane 4 while Lochte was below him in lane 5. However, the CBC announcers clearly thought Lochte was in lane 4 and Phelps was in 5 because they called Lochte as the winner of the race even though he faded down the stretch and finished in fifth, failing to medal.
Poor Friedman. After what must have felt like an eternal silence, you can just hear it in his voice that he can’t believe that happened when he apologized to viewers. To his credit, he chimed in with this tweet.
I'm sorry everyone. I blew it. No excuses
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 12, 2016
Friedman is a highly respected sports media personality in Canada, so let this show that this kind of mistake can happen to anyone.