The Greatest Olympians of All Time
A myriad of athletes worldwide has etched a mark in the phenomenal Olympics, ever since the advent of the first modern games materialised in 1896 in Athens.
The ethos of Olympics is mirrored in its motto, which states Swifter, Higher, Stronger, and there have occurred extraordinary performances synonymous with this quintessential motto. The celestial Olympic athletes assumed the stature of eternal legends.
Michael Phelps (USA)
Despite laborious efforts by swimmers to tame the waters, none has surpassed the mighty Michael Phelps – mastering the water. This man soon became synonymous with the Olympics from 2000.
Within a span of four years, he was eclipsed from a teenage swimmer to having secured five world records. In the 2008 Olympics, he won eight gold medals, breaking the record of Mark Spitz.
Later in the 2012 Olympics, he bagged a mighty four gold and two silver medals, enabling him to outstrip the record of Larisa Latynina.
Larisa Latynina (Soviet Union)
Larisa Latynina is the embodiment of perseverance, hard work, and Lady Luck gently caressing. Her first participation in the Olympics was in 1956 at Melbourne, where her pursuit for medal culminated in a glorious fashion with four gold, one silver, and one bronze medal.
In 1960 she again secured three gold, two silver, and a bronze medal. Ultimately in 1964, in Tokyo, she added another two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.
Her overall gold tally of nine has bestowed her the title of the highest gold medals in the history of the Summer Olympics in the female category.
Being a part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Game, she had also relished the position of having secured the most medals for a long 48 years until Michael Phelps overshadowed her in 2012.
Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
He was popularly known as the ‘Lightning Bolt’, a breath of fresh air to the sport mutilated by doping. The cry for a protector assumed prominence with Bolt coming into the spotlight, winning a gold medal in 100m and 200m, holding a world record in both these.
The 2008 Olympics bore testament to mine gold medals secured by him, elevating him to the status of a sprinting legend and celebrated as one of the greatest Olympians to grace the track with his record.
Carl Lewis (United States)
A prodigious athlete who etched his legacy in the Olympics of 1984, securing four gold medals for 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4*100m relay in Los Angeles. He again took the Olympics by storm in 1988 in Seoul when he won gold for 100m and long jump and silver for 200m.
Only a handful can argue of his greatness with the gold medals that followed in 1992 and 1996 for the long jump. Ultimately, receiving the honour of being titled as the Sportsman of the century by the IOC.