Sportco's Greatest Olympic moments of all time

Every edition the Olympics witnesses over 10,000 athletes taking part in various sports and divisions. Considering the rich heritage of the sporting event which dates back to as early as the 19th-century one would not be surprised that the biggest sporting event has given us numerous memories and stunning occasions which still remain fresh one’s storage. 

From record-breaking moments to moments that shook the sporting world for various reasons, the Olympics has never failed to intrigue the followers.

Without further ado, Sportco brings you a list of the 10 greatest Olympic moments of all time.

1) Do you believe in miracles?

USA ice hockey Olympics
Miracle on Ice

The journey of the USA Ice hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics still stands to be one of the biggest achievements in the sports field. 

Famously known as the “Miracle on Ice”, the US side that was made entirely of amateurs and collegiate players shook the world by defeating the mighty Soviet Union 4-3 and later going on to win the gold medal by defeating another hot favorite- Finland.

One of the greatest and most unforgettable moments of all time in the history of the Olympic games or say the sport of ice hockey. 

2) The Salute

Anyone who follows the Olympics would know the famous Black Power salute. Considered to be one of the most controversial political statements ever made at the Olympics, the gesture went on to create a huge wave around the globe. 

American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, after winning the gold and bronze respectively decided to receive their medals shoeless to show support for the African-Americans.

Black Power salute Olympics
Black Power salute

The moment was even made special by the silver medalist Australian sprinter Peter Norman as he wore an Olympic Project for Human rights badge to show his support. This gesture by the three podium finishers definitely deserves a mention on our list of greatest Olympic moments of all time.

3) The Fish

Some find it hard to believe he is human. Well, they cannot be judged wrong because this man has been shattering records ever since he started playing with water. 

The American all-time great Michael Phelps, also nicknamed the “Baltimore Bullet” holds the record for the most medals by an individual at the Olympics, with 28 medals to his name. 

Michael Phelps USA Olympics
Micheal Phelps

The American swimmer also created history at the 2008 Olympics by striking the gold on 8 occasions and thus became the first athlete to do so. He did it by breaking the record of his fellow countryman and swimmer Mark Spitz’s 7 medals. 

Michael Phelp's monumental achievements and performances have created some of the most cherished and unforgettable moments in Olympic history. The American is also regarded as one of the greatest Olympians of all time.

4) Peace between borders

One of the most known unrest between countries has been that of South Korea and North Korea and it was during the 2000 Sydney Olympics that both the Nations decided to keep their differences aside. 

The two countries marched together in the opening ceremony of the Olympics and were also featured under a unified flag. 

North Korea South Korea Olympics
Unification of North Korea and South Korea

Thus, making it clear that the sporting event had so much more than just sports and has been used as a platform to convey political statements since its inception. 

5) By your side

The next greatest Olympic moments of all time would be remembered by many athletics fans. Derek Redmond, a podium favorite for the 400 m event back at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics was struck with a huge blow as he found himself struggling to make it to the finish line after tearing his hamstring during the semi-final run. 

However, giving up was never an option for the British runner and he rose up to complete the race. 

Derek Redmond Olympics
Derek Redmond

Clearly struggling to make a step ahead, the sporting world witnessed one of the rarest sights, it was a man from the spectators who leaped across the railings to help Redmond finish the race. 

The man was none other than his father, a moment that sends chills down to one and all stands to be one of the most unforgettable and emotional moments at the Olympic games to date.

6) The Saviour

Canadian sailor- Lawrence Lemieux serves to be a great example of how humanity is more important than anything. 

During the 1988 South Korean Olympics, Lemieux was on course to make a podium finish but during the race, he witnessed an overturned boat and decided to help the injured sailors back to safety. 

After successfully helping the sailors to safety, he resumed his race, and despite the lag, the Canadian finished 21st of 32. 

Lawrence Lemieux Olympics
Lawrence Lemieux

“By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice, and courage, you embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal." -Samaranch, president of IOC.

For his heroic and courageous act, Lemieux was awarded the Coubertin medal, only the second person to receive it whilst being a competitor in the game. Any idea on first-person? It was Eugenio Monti of Italy

As an honor of his act, the International Yacht Racing union decided to reinstate his position when we went off-board, thus rewarding him with a second-place finish. 

7) Sweet 16

Mary Lou Retton Olympics
Mary Lou Retton 

At just 16, the American gymnast Mary Lou Retton created history at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She became the first American male/female to win a gold medal in gymnastics. She just did not win the gold but was received perfect 10’s from the judges. 

With her minimal international experience and tender age of 16, the feat was considered to be one of the greatest moments of all time at the Olympic games, and what a better way when it comes at your home soil. 

8) “Magnificent seven”

Kerri Strug Olympics
Kerri Strug

Kerri Strug’s exceptional performance at the 1996 Olympics will always remain one of the greatest Olympic moments of all time. 

Given the rift between the Russians and the United States back then, the countries produced some astonishing talents. Kerri Strug played a huge role in setting up the first-ever win for America against Russia

Despite injuring her ankle in the first vault, Strug went on to land perfectly in her second attempt giving the Americans one of the greatest moments to cherish at the Olympic Games. 

9) Crushing the Aryan Supremacy

Regarded less of an athlete by the Germans due to his skin color as Adolf Hitler tried to impose his Aryan supremacy over the biggest sporting event. 

1936 Summer Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics

Jesse Owens should be a synonym for inspiration, commitment, and perseverance. The man produced one of the greatest and the most celebrated moments in Olympic history by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. 

Undoubtedly, the most successful athlete in that Olympics, Owens played a crucial role in crushing the myth of the Aryan supremacy that was imposed by the German dictator- Adolf Hitler.

10) Cool Runnings

Yes, you read it right, we are talking about the Hollywood movie Cool Runnings. The Jamaican bobsleigh team debuted in the Winter Olympics in 1988. 

The team were considered to be the underdogs as Jamaica was a tropical country and the country had very little substance to the winter games. 

Jamaican bobsleigh Olympics
Jamaican bobsleigh (1988)

However, the team that comprised Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Micheal White, Freddy Powell, and Chris Stokes which was coached by a retired Olympian bobsledder Howard Siler went on to compete at the event. 

The team did lose control in the last run and failed to finish the race officially. But their unrelenting mindset served to be a great example for the upcoming athletes. 

Related Articles on Sportco: Tokyo Olympics Google Calendar | Interesting Olympic Facts |  Five Athletics Records that can be broken in 2021 Olympics

So this was our list of 10 greatest Olympic moments of all time. Which of the above Olympic moments inspired you the most? 

Do let us know in the comments on your favorite Olympic moment and also stay tuned with Sportco we will bring you more exclusive content on the biggest sporting event in the world. 

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