Saturday, August 09, 2008

Summer Olympic Nostalgia

I have followed the Summer Olympic Games since Montreal (1976).

These are my personal Top Forty best memories

1. After a long absence, due to political sanctions, South Africa competes in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and wins two medals.

2. Brits Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett dominate Middle Distance running at Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984.

3. Canadian Donovan Bailey wins the 100m sprint in Atlanta. He then goes on to lead Canada to victory in the 4 x 100m Men’s relay.

4. Michael Johnson wins both the 200m and 400m Sprints in Atlanta establishing World Records at both.

5. Michael Phelps wins six swimming Gold medals at Athens 2004.

6. The South African swimming team wins the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle relay in Athens. The team includes Ronald Schoeman from my place of birth, Pretoria.

7. American sprinter Carl Lewis wins four Gold Medals in Los Angeles (1984) thereby mimicking the feat of Jessie Owens in Berlin 1936 (Owens was much more of a Class human being though).

8. The Dream Team ‘jazzes’ up Olympic Basketball to win Gold in 1992.

9. Brit Daley Thompson clinches Gold in both the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Decathlon. In my opinion Thompson is the greatest decathlete ever.

10. Canada dominates Women’s rowing at Barcelona (1992).

11. Nigeria defies all odds to win Soccer Gold at the Atlanta Games.

12. Matt Biondi wins five swimming gold medals at Seoul 1988 to add to a silver and bronze in the same Olympics. He already won two golds at Los Angeles (1984) and will win a further gold and silver at Barcelona in 1992.

13. The US Women’s entry puts in a tremendous performance to win Gold in Atlanta in Gymnastics Team.

14. Aussie Ian Thorpe sets the swimming world ablaze at Sydney 2000.

15. Newly independent Zimbabwe’s Women’s Field Hockey Team wins Gold at Moscow 1980.

16. Lennox Lewis wins boxing Gold in 1988 fighting for Canada.

17. Gal Fridman becomes Israel’s first ever gold medalist when he wins sailing’s mistral men’s in Athens (2004).

18.American Greg Louganis dominates diving in two successive Olympics (Los Angeles and Seoul)

19. An exciting young Spanish team takes Men’s Soccer Gold at Barcelona 1992.

20. Carl Lewis wins a fourth consecutive Long Jump Gold at the Atlanta Olympics.

21. British rower Steve Redgrave establishes himself in sport as winning gold at five consecutive Olympic Games.

22. Romanian Gymnast Nadia Comaneci scores a perfect 10.00 at Montreal 1976.

23. The US Track and Field team wins both the 4 x100 m and 4x400m relays in World record time at Barcelona 1992.

24. South African Josiah Thugwane wins the Men’s Marathon in Atlanta 1996.

25. Jackie Joyner Kersee, arguably one of the greatest female athletes of all-time wins Heptathlon gold at Seoul and Barcelona. Like myself Kersee is an asthma sufferer.

26. Former Graves disease victim Gail Devers wins gold in 100m track at both Barcelona and Atlanta.

27. Randy Barnes takes Gold in the Men’s shot put in Atlanta

28. Ethiopian Runner Haile Gebrselassie wins Gold in the 10000m in Atlanta. He will repeat this performance in Sydney four years later.

29. Gymnast Kyle Showfelt clinches Olympic Gold for Canada in the Men’s Floor Exercise in Atlanta. This was Canada’s first ever medal in artistic gymnastics. More to follow…hopefully.

30. Scotsman Alan Wells wins the 100m sprint in Moscow (1980). He is the last white athlete ever to do so.

31. Doubles Tennis team Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval win a silver medal for South Africa at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

32. Swimmer Penny Heyns wins two gold medals for South Africa in the 100m and 200m breaststroke in Atlanta.

33. Canadian Mark McCoy wins the 110m hurdles at Barcelona (1992).

34. American Edwin Moses wins the 400m hurdles at Los Angeles (1984) to add to his 1976 Olympic Gold in the same event. Moses dominated this distance between 1977 and 1987 and would undoubtedly have won a gold at Moscow (1980) had the US competed.

35. Brit Linford Christie takes gold at the 100m sprint in Barcelona. (1992)

36. Great Britain wins the 1988 Men’s Field Hockey Title.

37. Czech javelin thrower Jan Zelezny wins his third consecutive gold medal in Sydney (2000).

38. Sergei Bubka, the World’s greatest ever pole vaulter, wins Gold at Seoul in 1988.

39. Sprinter Evelyn Ashford wins gold in the 100m race in Los Angeles (1984).

40. Decathlete American Dan O’Brien wins gold in Atlanta (1996).
Post a Comment