Blood, sweat, and tears doesn’t even come close. At the Olympic Games, everything’s on the line — making each and every triumph that much bigger, bolder, and at times, breathtaking. As the events come to a close Sochi, we’re looking back at the 25 most incredible, awe-inspiring Olympic moments of all time.
5. Michael Johnson
The Ancient Greeks would’ve appreciated this feat. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Michael Johnson took home two gold medals while crushing two world records along the way. First was the 400-meter race, where he whipped around the track in 43.49 seconds. With only a few days rest in between, Johnson came back to the track to take gold in the 200-meter sprint, becoming the first man to win both races in the same Olympic Games.
4. Nigerian Dream Team
Nicknamed the Dream Team, the Nigeria U23 team then handled by Coach Jo Bonfere shocked the world to become the first black nation to win the prestigious football gold. After the amazing comeback against Brazil in a thrilling semi-final match that Papilo Kanu Nwankwo helped engineer, the Nigeria team went on to beat Argentina in the finals to complete their amazing run in the God’s Own country.
3. Derek Redmond
Derek Redmond, a British runner specializing in the 400 meters, tore his hamstring halfway through a semi-final race in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. A favorite for the medals podium, Redmond refused to give up and rose to finish the race despite his intense pain. But the most memorable moment came next, when the runner’s father leapt over the railing from the stands and helped his son complete the race. Steps from the finish line and with the crowd cheering them on, he let go of Derek, so his son could cross the finish line by himself
2. Michael Phelps
Call him “The Phenomenon” or “The Fish,” Michael Phelps gave new meaning to blowing the competition out of the water at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The American swimmer took home (count ’em!) eight gold medals, breaking Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals in one Olympics. And if our math is correct, counting his six golds from Athens and four more from London, he’s at 18 golds and 22 total medals over four career trips to the Olympics.
1. Usain Bolt
What’s better than three Olympic golds? Ask Usain Bolt. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Jamaican sprinter broke the world and Olympic records in both the100-meter and 200-meter events. He also set a 4×100-meter relay record with the Jamaican team, making him the first man to win three sprinting events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984.
Which were your favorite Olympic moments of all times?Tell us in the comments below