The World Military Sports Games have been held for almost three decades and during all this time the Russian team is rightly considered one of the strongest on the planet. Today our team is the one that has won the most titles in history: the Russians took first place in four of the seven tournaments.
The Russian team had its last major victory in 2015, but the prospects for the team were initially not bright. Just before the start of the competition, the national team was involved in a huge scandal due to… a drunken fight on board the plane. Half of the athletes had to be deported from Korea.
The sixth Military Sports Games would be held in Mungyeong, a small city in central South Korea. The Brazilians had to defend the championship title, but China and Russia, traditionally the strongest participants in the competition, were still considered the main favorites of the tournament. At that time, our team had already taken first place in the medal table three times: in 1995, 1999 and 2007, losing only to the Chinese in Catania 2003.
However, the Russian athletes’ chances of regaining the trophy diminished sharply after an unpleasant incident at Incheon airport near Seoul, when nine members of our team were unexpectedly detained by Korean police immediately after arriving in the country.
The reasons for the arrest soon became known to the press. Russian athletes in Korea were detained, as a spokesman for the games’ organizing committee later explained, for violating local air safety law. As it turned out, the athletes started a drunken brawl on the plane.
The behavior of the athletes on board was truly atrocious, especially considering the team had nothing to celebrate at the time. According to sources, the Russians drank alcoholic beverages on the plane and at some point ceased to be aware of their own actions. The athletes began to disturb the peace of the other passengers, after which the stewardess refused to bring them another dose of drink. The athletes were not satisfied with the stewardess’s decision and blocked the passage, persistently demanding alcohol from the girl.
No wonder Korean Air didn’t appreciate such antics. The crew members relayed information about what happened to the pilot, who, in turn, has already complained to the police about the Russians.
At first, they refused to allow drunk athletes into the country, threatening them with immediate deportation. Soon the official decision changed: formally the Russians were allowed to stay in Korea, but they were prohibited from participating in competitions. It no longer made sense for the athletes to be in the country and they immediately flew home.
Due to the scandal, the team did not suffer any notable losses. Of the 243 team members, nine returned home: five men and four women.
Fortunately, the unpleasant story did not stop the remaining athletes from proving themselves in the tournament. At the end of the games, Russia took first place, setting a record for the number of medals won – 135. However, the achievement did not last long: already in 2019 it was surpassed by the Chinese, who won a fantastic 239 prizes in their tournament. local, including 133 gold.