Japanese Pole Vaulter Headlines: Medal Round

Did you hear the one about the athlete who didn't really do what every outlet said he did?

The basic definition of “exonerate” is “to clear.” In the context of Japanese Olympic pole vaulter Hiroki Ogita’s failure to do just that at the Rio Olympics, New Zealand website NewsHub manages to touch on that clever meaning as well as make a headline about the athlete’s admonishment of the media feel formally Japanese. [Award: Bronze]


As Ogita subsequently reminded, other parts of his lower anatomy came in contact with the horizontal bar first, rendering all perceived below-the-belt GIF action somewhat moot. This India Times headline, which found yet another obstacle on the pathway to Olympic glory and yet one in no way attached to a sex scandal, is now also part of the “Yes, We Reported This Wrong” canon. [Award: Silver]


Finally, given the specifics of Ogaki’s jump, it was perhaps inevitable that a website called Inverse would tease some scientific analysis. Their breakdown of how Ogita allowed ‘his unbridled penis to snag on the unrelenting bar’ is shaky, but the headline wins. [Award: Gold]