When The Grateful Dead Helped Lithuania Win Basketball Olympic Bronze

By Kellar Ellsworth
A shirt featuring the dunking skeleton, nicknamed 'Skully,' designed as a Grateful-Dead-appropriate mascot for the Lithuanian team. Source: buinesswire.com

When Lithuania's men's basketball team played at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, they did so with help from the Grateful Dead. The relationship with the long-running rock group was evident from the tie-dyed t-shirts team members wore when they weren't on the court, featuring the image of a slam-dunking skeleton. Why did the Dead step in to help a team from a former Soviet republic compete -- and win a bronze medal -- in the Olympics? Because freedom!