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The Greatest Olympians of All Time: Athletes Who Made History

Posted 03 Apr 2023

The Olympics is the pinnacle of athletic achievement and a source of awe and inspiration for sports enthusiasts as it's an event where the best athletes from around the world compete against each other.

Many events happen in the Olympics, and several players have been labelled as 'The Greatest' in their field due to the unbelievable records they made and the successes they achieved throughout their careers on the biggest stage.

Over the years, many great Olympians have made history with incredible feats in their respective sports, and that's why it's tough to pick the 'best' ones. However, few have left their marks deeper than others, and in this article, we will talk about some of the best Olympians of all time.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is the first name that comes to everyone's mind when considering the Olympics. The great American swimmer holds many records in Olympics history. He has won more medals than any athlete in Olympics history (28), with 23 of those gold.

Michael Phelps made his Olympic debut at only 15 and was the most decorated Olympian athlete in history when he retired (2016). In his illustrious career, he won medals in five back-to-back Olympic Games, from Sydney in 2000 to Rio in 2016.

All the achievements Michael Phelps' earned in his career are a testament to the American swimmers' arduous work, consistency, dedication, and perseverance.

What Michael Phelps is to the swimming world, Usain Bolt is to sprint. The Jamaican sprinter is widely known as the greatest sprinter in history.The undisputed king of sprinting is the only athlete to win the 100 m, 200m, and 4x100m relay in three consecutive Olympic Games, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016.

Bolt holds almost every record there is in sprinting field. Throughout his career, he was a fan favourite wherever he ran. He had a lightning-fast speed and a charismatic personality indeed.His dominance in the sprinting events is unmatched. It's unlikely we'll see this record broken soon.

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis is another name in the list of very few people who cemented themselves as the most significant in their sport. Carl Lewis is one of history's most outstanding track and field athletes. The American sprinter and long jumper won nine Olympic gold medals and one silver medal between 1984 and 1996.

Carl Lewis' incredible versatility was the reason behind his excellence in various events, including the 100m, 200m, long jump, and relay races. His long jump record of 8.87m, set at the 1984 Olympics, stood for 23 years. His unbelievable performances at the Olympic games have rightly earned him a place among the all-time greats.

Nadia Comaneci

One of the all-time Olympic greats 'Nadia Comaneci' made history at the 1976 Olympics held in Montreal. In that edition, she became the first gymnast to score a perfect 10.0. In her illustrious career, the Romanian gymnast won nine Olympic medals, five gold.

Comaneci inspired generations by giving flawless performances on the balance beam and uneven bars, earning her a place in Olympic history.

Jesse Owens

Arguably the most outstanding and famous athlete in track and field history, Jesse Owens gave many unbelievable performances. Still, his performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin is unmatched. In that edition, the American track and field athlete won (world record) four gold medals.

Jesse Owens was more than just an athlete. His triumph over the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy symbolised hope and resilience. He was an icon of the civil rights movement due to his courage and determination in adversity. That said, his achievements at the Games will always be remembered as a symbol of triumph over oppression.

Paavo Nurmi

Paavo Nurmi is another big name in Olympic history, known as 'Flying Finn' or 'Phantom Finn'. The Finnish long-distance runner won nine Olympic gold medals between 1920 and 1928. Paavo Nurmi's endurance and strategic racing style revolutionised distance running and made him a legend.

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All the athletes, as mentioned above, left their marks in their respective fields in the Olympics and cemented their place in the list of all-time great athletes. They became inspirations for millions worldwide throughout their careers with their talent, dedication, hard work, resistance, humbleness, and quality of the game on the field.

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