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Win or lose, these athletes let all their emotions hang out

Shaun Harrison
olympic-moments-morgan-uceny1.jpg
1 of 22 Terry Schmitt/UPI/Landov

Morgan Uceny (2012)

Uceny's grimace is less about pain and more about misfortune. The two-time U.S. champion fell in the final lap of the 1,500-meter final after hitting the knee of Ethiopia's Abeba Aregawi. She had fallen in the final lap in last year's world championships in similar fashion, and sobbed on the London track well after the race.

2 of 22 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Shin A Lam (2012)

You'd wail like this too if judges ruled on the side of bum technology that costs you a chance at gold. In their epee semifinal, Germany's Britta Heidemann had extra time to get touches on Shin when the clock got stuck with one second left, and after 25 minutes of deliberation, officials gave the finals berth to Heidemann. As the South Koreans filed a protest, an inconsolable Shin bawled on the piste, which she did not leave for more than 30 minutes because that would mean she accepted the result. She had to be escorted off after her appeal was rejected -- and return 15 minutes later for the bronze medal match, which she lost to China's Sun Yujie. Needless to say, more tears were shed.

3 of 22 Nick Laham/Getty Images

Lolo Jones (2008)

The American opted for the "Why, God, why?" ground pound after she clipped the penultimate hurdle in the 100-meter hurdles final just as she was pulling away for the win. As for the answer to that question, her doctor later attributed the blunder to an undiagnosed spinal cord problem.

4 of 22 Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Yelena Isinbayeva (2008)

If it weren't for the gold medal around her neck, you'd never guess that the Russian pole vaulter defended her title, let alone set a new world record.

5 of 22 Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Iker Romero (2008)

Who says it's all about winning gold? Romero was a blubbering mess after Spain defeated Croatia for the handball bronze medal. If this is how he looks making it on the podium, imagine how the Croatians must've looked.

6 of 22 Phil Walter/Getty Images

Janos Baranyai (2008)

What you should really be looking at in this photo is not the Hungarian weightlifter's distressing grimace, but his right elbow, which popped out while he was attempting to lift 148 kilograms (326.3 pounds) in the 77-kilogram competition. Ouch!

7 of 22 Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

Timea Toth (2008)

The best part of Toth's scrunched-up-face cry? There's a single tear streaming down her face. What brought on this sob-fest? Toth and her Hungarian teammates lost the bronze medal handball match to South Korea.

8 of 22 Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images

Olaf Tufte (2008)

We can't tell if the Norwegian rower was overcome with emotion or blinded by the sun during his medal ceremony after winning the single sculls.

9 of 22 Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Liu Xiang (2008)

The sight of China's first track and field Olympic champ wincing in pain from an Achilles injury -- preventing him from defending his 110-meter hurdles title at his home Games -- is nothing compared to the reaction of, oh, everyone in the country following his withdrawal. From his coach to fans to journalists, we're pretty sure more than 1.3 billion buckets of tears were shed that day.

10 of 22 Al Bello/Getty Images

Matthias Steiner (2008)

Get out all your laughs now for Steiner's "a man possessed" scream. All done? The German weightlifter's exuberant celebration of his +105-kilogram gold capped a year of emotional hell: His wife died in a car accident the summer before and he vowed to win Olympic gold for her. He later carried a photo of her during the medal ceremony.

11 of 22 Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Paula Radcliffe (2008)

If Radcliffe's around, you can bet that every marathon will be tear-stained. The British runner lets it flow so often when she comes up short (see also: her losses at the 2004 Olympics and the 2009 New York City Marathon) that we're surprised her tear ducts haven't dried up by now.

12 of 22 Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

Yuriy Borzakovskiy (2004)

Eyes shut, jaw clenched, teeth visible, hand almost to face. You know the Russian middle distance runner had a good, hearty cry after winning the 800 meters.

13 of 22 Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Rulon Gardner (2004)

Few can bust out a full-on frown, but Gardner did just that after winning the 120-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling bronze and immediately retiring -- he placed his shoes in the middle of the mat.

14 of 22 Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images

Dmitri Nossov (2004)

It's very possible that the Russian's swollen, soaked look is a result of his ugly cry than the effort he exerted to win the judo half-middleweight bronze.

15 of 22 Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty

Veronica Campbell-Brown (2004)

The Jamaican sprinter went for the restrained quiver -- complete with the furrowed brow -- after receiving her 200-meter gold.

16 of 22 Stuart Hannagan/Getty Images

Carly Patterson (2004)

Ah, the crumple-face cry. Just let it all out, Carly. You won the U.S.' first all-around gold in a non-boycotted Olympics!

17 of 22 Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Gail Devers (2004)

It's kind of fitting that Devers' cry could double as a laugh. After failing to win her favorite event, the 100-meter hurdles, in the past three Olympics, the American with the outrageously long fingernails pulled up lame on her left leg before the first hurdle in the heats at her final Games. Some things are just not meant to be.

18 of 22 Al Bello/ALLSPORT

Brahim Asloum (2000)

We'd be bawling too if our hair was bleach blond. Oh, what's that? You're crying because you won France's first gold in boxing in 64 years? OK then.

19 of 22 Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Kerri Strug (1996)

Credit where credit's due: Strug could've limped off after injuring her ankle from her first vault. But she toughed it out and landed her second, team gold-clinching vault for the U.S. on one foot before doubling over in pain. We're not sure if anyone else could've done that.

20 of 22 Allsport/Getty Images

Ato Boldon (1996)

Most commonly seen on babies, the sticking-out-the-tongue cry made its way onto the Trinidad and Tobago sprinter's face after he took the bronze in the 100 meters.

21 of 22 P Pavani/AFP/Getty Images

Derek Redmond (1992)

Perhaps the most famous cry in Olympic history, the heartbreaking anguish -- physical (his hamstring tore during the 400-meter semifinal) and emotional -- on Redmond's face is offset by the resilience, Olympic spirit and pure love the Brit and his father Jim displayed when Jim ran out to help his son finish the race. Excuse us, we have something in our eye.

22 of 22 Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty Images

Mary Decker (1984)

Decker employed the open-mouth wail after her Olympic dreams came crashing down -- literally. Halfway through the 3000-meter final, in which the American was favored for gold, Decker collided with South African barefoot runner Zola Budd and fell to the ground, breaking her left hip and breaking down into tears.