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  • omnibishop

    Honestly, I’m not sure how serious I can take your list without you including Kerri Strug’s vault in the 1996 Olympics. Maybe not number 1, but not even in the very top ten? I think a revision might be in order.

    • Lee Standberry

      Honestly, it was hard enough to narrow it down to 10. there are a LOT of great moments to choose from.

    • SeanP

      Strug was pretty amazing with her vault but I’ll do ya one better:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shun_Fujimoto

  • Marvin Atienza

    I was surprised not to see John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania’s marathon performance during the 1968 Mexico City Games (the same race won by Mamo Waldi over an hour earlier). I think it was the ultimate demonstration of the Olympic spirit and one of the most courageous acts ever.

  • Little_Sam

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting Jesse Owens number 1 on your list. That was so long ago, many people do not know who Jesse Owens was. Many people do not know what a sense of pride for Jesse and his accomplishments that all Americans had at the time. It was not only Jesse winning, it was America winning. It was America beating Nazi Germany and Hitler.

    • When I read the list for the first time that was my thought as well. I don’t think there can be a better choice for #1 for any Olympic moment.

    • M87

      “Hitler didn’t snub me – it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.”.

      Whilst it was an incredible achievement that many Americans are righty proud of today, I doubt that it was the general sentiment at the time that you seem to suggest, due to the racial discrimination suffered by African Americand and further reflected by FDR and later President Truman’s snub to award Owens with any honours. However, doesn’t change the fact it is one of the Olympics greatest moments.

      • Lee Standberry

        You are partly correct. However there was quite a bit of goodwill sentiment and pride in the African American community at the time. Racial discrimination, as you accurately point out, more than likely muted wide spread accolades and admiration that would have otherwise been the case. But for African Americans (then and now), he was an iconic image that proved many of the stereotypes false and that great things could be achieved – even in the face of adversity.

        • ParusMajor

          As far as I know, Hitler wasn’t racist against black people (simply because there weren’t many in Germany at the time). He was racist against Jewish and Gypsy people. So, I don’t think that it bothered him that Jesse Owens was black, he was just bothered that an American won and not a German. Of course it’s a good story if you’re black, that one of you beat all the bloody Nazi athletes. I just don’t think it’s quite true.

          • ParusMajor

            BTW, I say “black people”, because I’ve met many in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc, who have never been in either Africa or America, so it would be silly to call them African-American. Don’t you think?

  • tassie devil

    My favourite moment was when Juan Antonio Samaranch declared the Sydney Olympics the best ever. Istill get a tear in the eye, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Another great Australian moment was just before the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The mayor of Melbourne was waiting for the torch to arrive when some gutsy bloke ran up to him with a peach tin on a stick with a burning rag in it and the mayor proceeded to go into his speech before someone told his it was bogus. Brilliantly ballsy.

  • TJ

    Great list. I commend you guys.

  • Angry Norwegian

    Concerning Jesse Owens, it’s quite funny to read his reaction to staying in Berlin for the Olympics. He noted that he could move freely, talk to whom he wanted, didn’t have to stay in a separate hotel, could sit wherever he wanted on the bus, eat at any restaurant, unlike back in the “Land of the free”. Funny that…

    • Lee Standberry

      the “land of the free” has had its darker moments, like most places I imagine. Still, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else (except maybe Canada – everybody loves Canada).

      • ParusMajor

        Many jazz and blues musicians of those times moved house to Europe for that reason exactly, there was no racism. Now, of course, this guy called Alfred destroyed Europe’s reputation in these matters… 🙁

  • visse laren

    how on earth can one forget Lasse Viren in Munichs 1972 olympics, where he fell in the 10 000 m competition and after getting back up, he broke the WR and won the gold

  • Dublor

    An addition: there was a hungarian 2 times Olympiad winner (1928, 1932) water polo team member named Halassy Olivér, who had his left lower leg amputated in childhood. Here is a picture of the team, where you can check it http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A1jl:Olympic_gold_medalist_hungarian_water_polo_team_(1932,_Los_Angeles).jpg

  • Stuart

    Fanny Blankers-Koen’s four gold medal haul at the the 1948 Olympics was pretty special too.

    She was 30 years old and a mother of two, and named the women athlete of the 20th century by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1999.

    Check her story out. it’s really amazing. She did a lot to smash down gender and age stereotypes in athletics.

  • Katie

    “Mary Peters winning gold for Ireland” is misleading. Her achievement is so special because she came from Northern Ireland (regularly crossing the sectarian divide for training), and therefore she was a member of the team for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. “Ireland” is normally understood as the Republic of Ireland. The union jack on her track suit that can be seen in your photo should have been a clue!

  • Wilson Steen

    Edenderry Historical and Cultural Society is local to where Dame Mary Peters went to school in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland and is where she developed her athletic skills, especially shot putting. The society is about to publish a book with the title ” A History of Portadown Foundry 1844 – 1983″ and we herewith request permission to include image No.6 above of the said lady displaying her gold medal of 1972 in Munich. The connection is that at age 15 Mary was excelling at shot putting and seemed to have set a new NI record in the sport. However when her shot was inspected it was found to be light and so the record was not recorded. Her father prevailed on Portadown Foundry to make her a new cast iron shot of the correct weight ASAP. They did this and Mary soon achieved the NI record using her new shot at the correct weight. Our book contains a piece telling this story and we would like to include the photograph referred to. We would greatly appreciate a prompt answer as the book goes to print very shortly. The story has only just come to light.

    Best regards and thanks in advance.
    Wilson Steen

  • LiamjJackson

    Nicola Adams becomes first women boxer to win gold medal

  • Uriel de Antiporda V

    It’s such a shame that the story of Gabriela Andersen-Schiess, a marathon runner who suffered a heat stroke during the los angeles olympic games marathon event, was not even mentioned here. What could be more inspiring than an athlete who suffered a heat stroke during competition, but managed to finish despite the crippling effect????