An enormous amount of planning goes into staging an Olympic event, as authorities at the highest levels of each sport work to ensure that everything runs well, as it is frequently the largest stage on which some of the smaller sports will be able to showcase their athletes.
Everything is precisely organized, but as we learned at the start of the men’s triathlon competition, you can’t always account for someone with a jittery trigger finger. One of the boats that help lead the competitors along and also houses camera teams were steadily trolling along in front of the platform, taking some long panning views before the official start, as the athletes all gathered at the starting platform for the swimming leg of the event.
Unfortunately, the starter failed to notice the massive boat that was preventing half of the field from entering the water, and when the flag was raised to indicate that all of the athletes were in position, they smashed the start button, resulting in an incredible scene in which half of the field took off while the rest was unable to do so due to the massive boat. The boat speeding out of the way is an all-time “oh no” moment, and the guys at the far end who jumped in front of the boat thinking they just had to beat an extra hurdle shout. They’d eventually wrangle all of the guys who got in the water by driving boats in front of them to turn them around and restart, and the race would continue without incident from there, but it’s an embarrassing moment for the people driving the boat and the starter who literally jumped the gun on starting the race.
The broadcasters were especially amusing as they viewed the tape, attempting to figure out how the starter missed the boat that was there in front of him. We’ll have to wait until the end of the race to discover if any of the participants blamed the false start for their bad performance, but it was certainly an unusual spectacle on such a grand scale.