A Gold Medal Summer
Everyone at KG knows that I’m a huge sports fan, and of course, every two years I cannot wait for the arrival of the Olympics. I love everything about the Olympics, even Bob Costas. Nothing beats watching an underdog team beat the incumbent gold medal winner or an individual athlete overcoming incredible odds to win the race. In my opinion, the Olympics have provided some of the most historic and inspirational athletic feats in recent history.
In a little over a month, the best athletes from all over the world will descend upon London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. (As an interesting aside, our very own Brittany Johnson and her husband have been lucky enough to score tickets to a few of the events!) As the world prepares to watch more record-breaking races and nail-biting gymnastic routines – I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane on some of the top Olympic moments. After all, so many of these were great PR stories for their time!
Jesse Owens – Conquering the World Though Racial and Physical Obstacles
During the 1936 Olympics against the back drop of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Olympic track star Jesse Owens, won four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and the long jump. He broke or equaled nine Olympic records and set three world records. Adolf Hitler hoped that the Berlin Games would prove his theory of Aryan racial superiority; however, Jesse Owen’s achievements led the people of Berlin to hail him as a hero. One of the most memorable moments of the games was when a 19-year old Germany athlete congratulated Owens after a qualifying round, in full view of Hitler.
The Holy Trinity of Gymnastics – Comaneci, Retton, Strug
You can’t call yourself a woman’s gymnastics fan unless you know about these three ladies, who all made historic achievements during three different summer Olympics:
- Nadia Comaneci – During the 1976 Olympics, Nadia scored what is now known as “The” Perfect Ten. She was the first gymnast to ever score a perfect “10” – and went on in her career to repeat this feat six times at Olympic competitions.
- Mary Lou Retton – In the 1984 Olympics, she was the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title. Retton scored perfect 10s on floor exercise and vault to win the all-around title by 0.05 points.
- Kerri Strug – During the 1996 Olympics, Kerri (a part of the Magnificent Seven U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team) fought through injury and enormous expectations to land a vault on one leg, guaranteeing her team gold. The Magnificent Seven remain the only U.S. women’s gymnastics team to claim Olympic gold.
Miracle On Ice – A Defining Moment in Olympic History
The “Miracle on Ice” is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men’s ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on Friday, February 22. The United States team, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet team, who had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament since 1954. Team USA went on to win the gold medal by winning its last match over Finland. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the “Miracle on Ice” the Top Sports Moment of the 20th Century.
Tell us your favorite Olympic moments!