This story now
IN History & Culture ON 16 Jun, 2016
Pranks are funny, right? But what if someone does a prank on you and never reveal it. How awesome would that be? Or not if you don't like pranks.
Well, this guy, Hal Haig Prieste played a prank on International Olympics Committee in 1920, and they didn't even know who did that to them. This prank can even be considered as one of the best and longest-lasting one in the history of pranks.
So, how was this prank played?
From the title, it is clear that I'm talking about the Olympics flag which went missing. Let's open the history books and find out.
The Summer Olympics were being held in Belgium in the city of Antwerp. At the end of the Olympics Games, the flag suddenly went missing.
At a U.S. Olympics Committee banquet, a reporter was interviewing a long-retired athlete named Hal Haig Prieste about the 1920 Games. Prieste was 100 or 101 years old at the time of the banquet and was reminiscing about his time as an Olympian when the reporter told him that the original flag went missing at the Games he participated in 77 years earlier.
On further asking, Prieste revealed the whole story behind the missing flag.
Challenged by his friend - the swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, Prieste climbed up a 15-foot flagpole at the end of the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, and stole the official flag.
He then folded it and put it in the bottom of his suitcases, where it remained some 77 years until he decided to reveal he had it at the dinner.
In the above image, you can see Duke Kahanamoku - The gold medal winner in the 100-meter freestyle and, later, the man generally credited with popularizing surfing.
He said, "I thought I ain't going to be around much longer – it's no good in a suitcase… I won't be able to hang it up in my room."
He said, "'I ain't going to be around long. I had it a long time. A lot of my friends have seen it. You can't be selfish about these things. It's no good to me. I can't hang it in my room. People will think more of me by giving it away than by keeping it.''
Prieste returned the flag to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) three years later during the 2000 Olympics. Prieste and flag both were in good shape during that time.
IOC also gave Prieste a plaque thanking him for "donating" the flag that he had stolen from them all those years ago.