Protesting calls is nothing new in the world of sports, no matter the level of competition or the sports being played.

But at the 2016 Olympics, a pair of Mongolian coaches took their protests to new heights, stripping off their clothes in opposition to a ruling by officials that resulted in the bronze medal being awarded to Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan instead of their wrestler, Mandakhnaran Ganzorig.

The said call came with seven seconds left in the match, as Ganzorig, leading 7-6, began celebrating prematurely in front of Navruzov, ready to receive what he thought would be a bronze medal. As time expired, he fell out on the mat and was covered with a Mongolian flag. However, officials penalized Ganzoring for not engaging Navruzov in the final seconds, which tied the score at 7-7. The Mongolian coaches’ protest failed, which pushed Navruzov ahead 8-7 and allowed him to claim the bronze medal. 

It was then that one of the coaches lost all patience. He proceeded to go full Hulk-mode, stripping off his clothes down to his underwear and roaring his displeasure at the ruling to the entire crowd. It didn’t take long for the other coach to follow suit.

Here are some glorious photos:

And a video…

To add to the theatrics of it all, the crowd got behind the stripped down Mongolian coaches, putting their support behind the emotionally charged duo.

The coaches were eventually escorted out of the arena by the Brazilian National Public Security Force, but their voices (and their bodies) rang loud and clear.

“This was a protest. There was a problem with the refereeing,” said Byambarenchin Bayarra, one of the Mongolian coaches, according to ESPN. “The Mongolian wrestler won 7-6 and he lost because of this [judges’ decision]. This is the only time in history of wrestling with point penalty.”

While the Mongolian coaches certainly could have found a more subtle way to voice their displeasure, there is no doubt the display put on by the coaches will go down as one of the most memorable moments of these Olympics.


About Colby Lanham

Colby Lanham is a graduate of Clemson University who, in addition to writing for The Comeback, has written for SI's Campus Rush, Bleacher Report, and Clemson Athletics. He is an alumni of the 2015 Sports Journalism Institute, where he also worked as an editorial intern for He has interests in football, basketball, and various forms of pop culture.