2016 brings us another Olympics, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite moments – some famous, some less well known! The Olympics brings together a varied range of professional and amateur sportsmen and women across hundreds of different events – the talent on show is insane and the sporting achievements keep going to greater and greater heights. Check out this little Top-5 Olympic list to whet your whistles for Rio!
Emil Zátopek’s Golds
At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Czechoslovakian middle-distance runner Emil Zátopek completed a feat that has never been matched since. He won golds in the 5000m and 10,000m events (the latter being a defence of the gold he first won at the 1948 London games). This was a magnificent achievement… but not enough for him. Having gotten the taste for success, he entered himself into the Marathon, a distance he had never competed at before. Guess what? He won it.
Nadia Comaneci’s Perfect 10
Aged 14, Romanian gymnast Comaneci achieved a milestone considered impossible in her sport – a Perfect 10. Televised to millions, her performance on the uneven bars astonished people the world over. Omega’s scoreboards hadn’t accounted for such a result: rather than showing a 10.00, the scoreboard read 1.00 as it couldn’t show 4 digits. The crowd were initially confused, but it soon became apparent they had witnessed perfection. A standing ovation quickly greeted the young Rumanian!
The Jamaican Bobsled Team
Let’s take things to the Winter Olympics for a second. We’ve all seen Cool Runnings (multiple times right here), so the story of Jamaica’s first bobsled team is a fond one for many of us. Making their debut at the 1988 Calgary games, they have since gone on to appear at the 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2012 competitions. For a Caribbean island with no snow, that’s some mean feat!
Cathy Freeman’s Sydney Gold
Cathy Freeman represented Australia’s Aboriginal people when she lit the Olympic flame for the 2000 Sydney Games. Coming in with a Silver from the 1996 400m event, she was the favourite to win the gold medal, so the relief on her face was palpable as she crossed the line in first place. In her trademark bodysuit, she epitomises delivering success under immense pressure. Her lap of honour saw her carry the Australian and Aboriginal flags, serving as inspiration for her nation and beyond.
(Sir) Steve Redgrave’s 5th Olympic Gold medal
Consecutive gold medals across multiple Olympics stand as a mark of true dedication and commitment from an athlete. No one epitomises this more than GB’s Steve Redgrave, who won 5 rowing golds from 1984 to 2000. In such a physically demanding event, the fact that Redgrave overcame diabetes to deliver at the highest level is incredible. He was Knighted by the Queen for his efforts. A sporting legend!