The modern Summer Olympic Games have been held every four years since its first Games in the year 1896 and Olympic records are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in every event. There are actually so many Olympic records that have been broken each year. This is actually so amazing because all the athletes have been working and also practicing their best to create an amazing record for their own performances. Such a great effort.
For the athletes in the Olympics, it would be such a great accomplishment if they could win themselves a gold medal. Little did many people know, it is much more satisfying for all of these athletes if they could do so in a record-breaking fashion. To honor their effort and perseverance, these are the 5 greatest performances in the Olympics.
1) Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt was so far ahead of the competition, he slowed down not out of humility, but rather a celebration. His own 100-meter performance at the 2008 Beijing Games rocked the competition, clocking in at 9.69. Bolt also captured the 200-meter world record with a time of 19.30. Bolt has since broken both of these records, which make his runs at the 2012 London Games must-see events.
2) Elaine Thompson-Herah
As the greatest women’s 100m race reached its denouement, Elaine Thompson-Herah burned past her greatest rival and then raised her left arm in a victory salute. Incredibly, Thompson-Herah had broken the American’s Olympic record. And when she talked about potentially downing Griffith Joyner’s world record of 10.49, such talk did not appear quite as fanciful as it would have done a few moments before.
3) Inge de Bruijn
The only women’s swimming record not broken at the 2008 Beijing Games was Inge de Bruijn’s 100-meter butterfly. She already owned both the Olympic and world records at the time, but de Bruijn dominated the second lap at the 2000 Sydney Games. At the halfway mark, she was behind her own pace by .3 seconds. But the Netherlands swimmer accelerated after the turn and won by a full body length. She also captured 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle gold in Sydney.
4) Dick Fosbury
What is now considered normal in high jumping was first a quirky move used to world-record levels by Dick Fosbury at the 1968 Mexico City Games. He ‘flopped’ over the bar to a then-record 2.24 meters or 7’4″. In what was dubbed the ‘Fosbury Flop’, the American launched himself up and over by arching his back rather than the two conventional methods of going face-down or scissor-kicking over the bar. Fosbury was the first to try the move, after failing to succeed with the other two methods. Now, his world record has been broken, but his method is the sport’s norm.
5) Rulon Gardner
When someone hasn’t lost in 13 years, an opponent can get intimidated, but not Rulon Gardner. Gardner took down Alexander Karelin at the 2000 Syndey Games to win the Greco-Roman wrestling gold medal. The American had competed only once before in an international tournament, while the Russian was the three-time defending Olympic champion. Furthermore, Karelin was considered the greatest wrestler of all time and had not allowed a point in the last decade. But Gardner outlasted the legend to win the super heavyweight gold.