10 most memorable moments from the Summer Games-Sports News , Justnewsday

By | July 19, 2021

10 most memorable moments from the Summer Games-Sports News , Justnewsday

Tokyo Olympics 2020: 10 most memorable moments from the Summer Games

FILE – In this Oct. 16, 1968, file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos extend gloved hands skyward in racial protest during the playing of national anthem after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. AP Photo

What can be more inspiring than the Olympics? An event where humans go beyond their natural limits. But sometimes, the most memorable moments from the Games are not record-breaking feats but incidents that end up touching our souls.

We take a look at 10 such soul-stirring moments from past editions of the Summer Games that are hard to forget.

Jesse Owens gives one back to Hitler

Germany’s Nazi party believed, and propagated the notion, that the Aryan race was better than others and the 1936 Olympics, held in Berlin, was the occasion to prove it to the world.

African-American athlete Jesse Owens, however, had other ideas as he won four gold medals in 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump, in front of Hitler.

Abebe Bikila creates history barefoot

Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila decided to run barefoot at the 1960 Rome Olympics because he could not find the right shoe.

Still, he was good enough to beat his opponents as he won the race to become the first African to win an Olympic gold medal.

Baby Hiroshima lights the Olympic cauldron

One of the most iconic moments from a Summer Games opening ceremony came at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. This was the first Olympics in Asia and an opportunity for Japan to show to the world that it was rebuilding after the second World War and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So nothing could have been more iconic than Japanese athlete Sakai Yoshinori lighting up the cauldron. Yoshinori, aka ‘ Baby Hiroshima’ was born on 6 August 1945, the day the US bombed Hiroshima.

Black Power salute

One of the most iconic moments of the Olympics, ever, came at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 10 most memorable moments from the Summer Games

Extending gloved hands skyward in racial protest, US athletes Tommie Smith, centre, and John Carlos stare downward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City on 16 October, 1968. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. AP

African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the gold and bronze respectively in the 200m race and during the medal ceremony both athletes gave the Black Power salute to protest against racism back home as the national anthem of the USA was played.

Derek Redmond crosses finish line with his father

British athlete Derek Redmond regularly struggled with injuries but he wasn’t among those to give up. Despite missing out on numerous opportunities, Redmond got himself ready once again, this time for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

He was among the favourites but in the semi-finals of the 400m race, Redmond pulled his hamstring. Refusing to give up, he picked himself up and started to limp towards the finishing line. His father Jim fought the security staff and joined his son, helping him cross the finishing line.

Derartu Tulu and Elana Meyer unite Africa

Derartu Tulu from Ethiopia won the 10,000m race at the 1992 Games, becoming the first Black African woman to win an Olympic gold, but it was her winning lap where she ran along with South Africa’s Elana Meyer hand-in-hand that gave her win a different meaning.

South Africa and its athletes were still trying to reunite with others after being suspended for apartheid and the spontaneous moment of sportsmanship helped to unite the African continent, even if it was just for one day.

Kerri Strug defies pain to win gold medal for USA

USA had never won the team gold in gymnastics but they wanted to change this when Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Games. USA were very close to winning the gold and only two vaults from Kerri Strug were left. Her performance, however, was going to be decisive as the lead was very slim.

In her first attempt, Strug landed awkwardly and injured her ankle. She was in deep pain and gold looked out of sight. But the Olympics inspire the seemingly unbelievable. Strug picked herself up and completed the second vault despite the pain, winning the gold for her nation.

Muhammad Ali lights the cauldron at 1996 Games

We all have heard about Muhammad Ali throwing his gold medal from the 1960 Olympics into the Ohio River after being denied service at a restaurant due to the colour of his skin.

But the sporting icon was presented with a new medal at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Games but the most iconic thing about the event was when Ali lit the Olympic cauldron. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, his hands shook but his spirit was indomitable.

North and South Korea come together

North and South Korea share a very bitter relationship but at the 2000 Sydney Games, they paraded under the same flag. During the Athletes parade, North Korea’s Jang Choo Pak and South Korea’s Eun-Soon Chung walked together under one flag showing the Korean peninsula.

The gesture raised hopes of better relations between the nations. It was not to be, but it was worth trying.

Liu Xiang’s injury hurts Chinese

110m hurdle champion Liu Xiang was a national icon and favourite to win the gold medal at home in 2008 at Beijing Games. But some of the best stories at times have the cruelest ends.

Defending champion Xiang pulled up injured even before reaching the first hurdle of the opening round. A packed Bird’s Nest Stadium went into a complete shock as Xiang hobbled away.

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