The Olympics have a rich history of inspiring achievements as well as controversial moments, but we found these 5 milestones to have left perhaps the deepest impressions on the world and the Games today. We dip into the archives to take another look at some of the most dramatic moments in the history of the Games. Here are the 5 most iconic Olympic moments ever.

5. Muhammad Ali, torch relay, 1996:

Muhammad Ali, torch relay, 1996

The world held its breath at that moment when Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest sportsman of all time came out of nowhere and received the Olympic Torch in Atlanta, shaking due to his Parkinsonís disease. Even the bravest of hearts were brought down to tears.

4. Derek Redmond:

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What made this moment at the 1992 Games special was it brought into focus not just one athlete’s near-heroic desperation but a more universal theme: the nature of parenthood.

3. Abebe Bikila:

Abebe Bikila

24 years after his country’s capital was conquered by Italy, Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila became the first black African to win gold. How? By running barefoot.

2. Jesse Owens winning:

Jesse Owens winning

Hitler viewed African-Americans as inferior and chastised the United States for stooping to use these ‘non-humans.’ Despite the endless racial epithets and the constant presence of the red and black swastika, Owens pissed on Hitler’s face with four gold medals.

1. Black Power Salute:

OLYMPICS BLACK POWER SALUTE

You can be a badass, but you can never be more badass than Smith and Carlos, the 200m gold and bronze medallists, who donned black gloves and give the Black Power salute on the podium in Mexico in 1968 to portray the condition of blacks worldwide. Millions around the globe thrilled to the sight of two men standing before the world, unafraid, expressing disillusionment with a nation that so often fell, and still falls, so short of its promise.

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