The year is 2012, and it's now summertime, meaning we are very quickly approaching the London Olympic Games! With the Opening Ceremonies in less than 2 months, I thought I would take this time to discuss a couple of my favorite moments all-time in the Olympics.
First, I'll take you back to the summer of 1992, when I was just a single year old (yeah, you probably feel old now). The Olympics that year were held in Barcelona, Spain. The most memorable part of this Olympic Games for many stemmed from a decision by FIBA in 1989 that allowed NBA players to play in the Olympics for the first time. Thus, it ended up with a US team whose roster read as follows:
Of those, I believe only Laettner is not a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Thus, as could be expected, the Americans tore through the field. They won every match by a margin of at least 32 points (their second game against Croatia in the finals, the first having been a 33-point pool play win -- the overall wins were by, in order, 68, 33, 43, 44, 38, 51, and 32). This was a display of dominance like the Olympics had never seen before and haven't seen since. Between the lineup full of some of the greatest who have ever played the game and the absolutely untouchable, unstoppable performance, this is without a doubt one of my favorite Olympic stories of all time.
One more tale, after the jump!
My other favorite Olympic moment happened at the most recent games in Beijing. One of the major stories coming in was Michael Phelps on his quest to set the record for most gold medals at a single Olympic games. Through 6 events, Phelps was a perfect 6-for-6. However, prior to the 7th event (100m butterfly), Serbian-American swimmer Milorad Cavic was quoted as saying,
"It'd be good for him if he loses. It would be nice if historians talk about Michael Phelps winning seven gold medals and losing the eight to 'some guy.' I'd like to be that guy." - Milorad Cavic
Needless to say, this fired up Phelps. On the back stretch, it looked like Phelps was just running out of energy from the events he had participated in so far, falling into 3rd and 4th place. However, the final 25m saw Phelps pull himself into a dead heat with Cavic in the front. The following is the footage from the race.
Michael Phelps - 100m Butterfly final - Beijing 2008 (via beatles6464)
At the race's end, Phelps took one more stroke while Cavic reached for the wall, and as a result Phelps touched the wall first -- by less than .01 seconds. The footage was reviewed after a protest, but the FINA committee concluded that Phelps was indeed the winner. Phelps took his 7th gold, and the following day broke Mark Spitz's all-time record with his 8th gold medal, this time in the 4x100m relay.
Now it's to you, FTRS readers. How do these moments stack up in your books? Do you have other favorites? Let's hear it.
Check out Memorable Moments on Yahoo! Sports! Celebrate the most compelling moments in Summer Games history with 'Memorable Moments' on Yahoo! Sports. Re-live moments such as Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10s in Montreal, Michael Phelps' record eight gold medals in Beijing, Carl Lewis' unforgettable four gold medals in Los Angeles, the spectacular success of the 1992 US Dream Team, Muhammad Ali in Rome and Atlanta, and any more!
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