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Pleased to Beat You…
July 21, 2009
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Relive some of the most memorable Olympic feats

No Olympics this year but plenty of great moments to relive from years past. From Nadia’s perfect 10 to Kerri Strug’s heroic vault, here’s a look at some of the top moments in Olympic history.

1960 Rome Games
Wilma Rudolph — who was unable to walk until she was seven after suffering from polio, scarlet fever and pneumonia as a child — becomes the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics when she wins the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

1972 Munich Games
Seventeen-year-old Soviet Olga Korbut becomes the first gymnast to ever do a backward somersault on the uneven bars. Korbut, who becomes known as the “Munchkin of Munich,” claims silver on the uneven bars and wins golds on the balance beam and floor exercise.

1976 Montreal Games
Fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci becomes the first person to score a perfect 10.0 in competition. She wins five medals at the Montreal Games, including the all-around gold.

1984 Los Angeles Games
Sixteen-year-old West Virginia native Mary Lou Retton becomes the first U.S. gymnast to win the women’s all-around crown when she scores a pair of 10s in her final two events to surpass Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo for a victory in her first major competition.

1988 Seoul Games
American track star Florence Griffith Joyner, known as “Flo Jo,” wins gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, and claims silver in the 4x400m relay. American Janet Evans wins three swimming golds at the 1988 Seoul Games, winning the 400m IM and the 400m and 800m freestyle events.

1996 Atlanta Games
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team wins the team gold, thanks in part to Kerri Strug. On the vault, the final rotation, Strug injures her ankle on her first attempt. But despite the injury, the 18-year-old returns to perform her second vault, which appears to clinch the gold for the American squad.  In the Olympic debut of women’s soccer, the U.S. team defeats China in the final to win gold. The American women added another gold at the 2004 Athens Games. U.S. swimmer Amy Van Dyken becomes the first American woman to win four golds at a single Games when she won the 50m freestyle, 100m butterfly and was a part of two gold-medal winning relay teams at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

2004 Athens Games
Carly Patterson becomes the second U.S. women’s gymnast — and the first since Mary Lou Retton in 1984 — to win the all-around gold.  The U.S. softball team defeats Australia in the final to win its third straight Olympic gold medal.

2008 Beijing Games
Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva turns the Bird’s Nest into her private theatre with a gold medal and world record-breaking pole vault performance that captivated the 91,000 crowd. After she spent most of the competition lying under a towel, she broke her own world mark with a leap of 5.05 meters.

Forty one year-old American Dara Torres, an inspiration to every athlete, not only looked on par with much younger competitors, she bested all but one of them in the 50-metre freestyle. She was also a part of a medley team that took silver. With two medals won, she truly proved that age does not matter.

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