Thursday, July 31, 2008

Olympic Moments

More Olympic blogging:

These are, in no particular order, my favorite Summer Olympic moments. They are only from what I can remember and do not include Jesse Owens in Berlin, Dick Fosbury or the clinched fists in Mexico City.

Derek Redmond (Barcelona, 1992) – See post below

Carl Lewis (Los Angeles, 1984) – Lewis went on to win 9 gold medals across 3 Olympiads, but it was in 1984 he became the face of US Track and Field and immortalized himself as the greatest American Track athlete of all time (though Jesse Owens will make a good argument for the title). I was only six years old, but I can remember what a big deal he was. The boycott by the Soviets made this sort of a down Olympics, but Lewis shined (no Soviet athlete could have competed with Lewis). 4 Golds in Los Angeles and he is also the only athlete to win 4 golds in the Long Jump and Gold medals in 4 Olympiads. Just don't listen to him sing the National Anthem.

Michael Johnson’s Gold Shoes (Atlanta, 1996) – Oh man, he was fast. Set world records in the 400 and won the 200 and 4x400 (his relay medals were returned after Antonia Pettigrew’s admittance of doping). Johnson ran sick times that were made even sicker by those bright, golden Nikes he was sporting. Between the shoes and that million dollar smile, you could tell he had done something special. He'll go on to set a world record in 1999 and then, in 2000, win the 400 again in Sydney.

Rulon Gardner (Sydney, 2000) – Defeating the almost mythical Alexander Karelin for the Greco-Roman gold in Sydney was such a great story of a underdog from Wyoming going up against a bear of a man from Siberia. It was a true Vision Quest moment and a great victory for USA Wrestling and an all-around nice guy.

Dream Team (Barcelona, 1992) – They were larger than life, still the greatest collection of basketball talent in history (yet, somehow Christian Laettner made the team). Larry Bird possessed one of the sweetest shots and best all around game in history, the charisma and playmaking ability of Magic Johnson, John Stockton is the NBA’s all time assist leader, the “Admiral” David Robinson down low, along with the greatest of all-time, Michael Jordan. Their games were jokes, as many teams never gave themselves a chance against this line-up.

Mohammed Ali (Atlanta, 1996) - Just watch the video, enough said...

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