favorite olympians

favorite olympians

Post by Alan Mart » Thu, 14 Apr 1994 10:57:22


please tell me your favorite olympians (USA)
 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Kevin Glo » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 04:25:19

Quote:

>please tell me your favorite olympians (USA)

Well...I'll assume that your are asking us to list our favourite
American Olympians, not that only people in the USA can respond.

If so...here are mine (restricted to top 10).  I have different
reasons for each, but often it's because of their personification
of (what I consider) the Olympic ideals, their great personal
struggles, or their contribution to the sport (either through a
great performance or something more intangible).

1. ERIC HEIDEN
        It is perhaps odd that I pick Heiden #1, considering no
other Winter Olympians make my list, but Heiden is one of
history's greatest Olympians, not just the USA's.  In 1980, he
won all 5 speed skating events; 500 metres, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m,
10000m.  And it wasn't because of weak competition either; he set
an Olympic record in all five events, and a world record in the
10000.  No one else in history had such a combination of speed
and stamina.  I try to picture Lee Evans or Quincy Watts in the
10000, or Frank Shorter or Lasse Viren in the 400; they wouldn't
be in the top 100 in the world, let alone #1.  Heiden's
performance (while aided by some mishaps re: opponents, but these
weren't Heiden's fault) is almost beyond comprehension.

2. BOB MATHIAS
        Perhaps in deference to the ancient Greeks, I list the
two-time decathlon winner #2.  The Greeks always encouraged
all-around performance.  The decathlon's combination of events,
competed over only two days, tests the limit of an athlete's
physical and mental capabilities.  Since Daley Thompson won in
1980 and 1984 (both Games touched by significant boycotts), I
think his performance cannot be judged equal.  In my mind,
Mathias is the only repeat champion in the toughest competition
in athletics.

3. JIM THORPE
        One of history's greatest athletes, and tragedies.
Thorpe won gold in the 1912 pentathlon and the decathlon, but was
stripped of his medals later when it was revealed that he had
received some money for playing some minor league baseball.  For
me, Thorpe epitomizes everything wrong with a sports world (then
and now) run by people who have never played the game, and have
never worried where the next meal is coming from.  Particularly
when million dollar athletes are allowed to compete today, it is
my belief that the Olympic movement owes Thorpe and his family an
apology the magnitude of which the English language does not have
words to properly express.  By the way, it is an urban legend
that Thorpe broke Eisenhower's leg in a college football game,
but it is fact that Thorpe did play pro football and baseball
after 1912, and little known that he also came 4th in the 1912
high jump and 7th in the long jump.

4. JESSE OWENS
        Although some prefer to concentrate on Owens' triumph as
a black athlete in front of Adolf Hitler and his "white's are a
superior race" theories (which I don't dismiss), I prefer to
focus on Owens' athletic performance.  At the 1936 Games James
Cleveland won the 100m, 200m, long jump, and anchored the 4x100
relay, all in gold medal performances.  Such speed and grace have
been rarely seen.  Owens is also well remembered for a
non-Olympic Games perfomance in 1935; as an athlete for Ohio
State, he beat or equalled six world records in a 45 minute time
span.

5. AL OERTER
        Four successive gold medals in discus, 1956, 1960, 1968,
1972.  Outstanding performance over an extended period of time.
Not all easy either, competing through torn rib cartilage, heavy
rain, whatever, in a sport which is very physically demanding.

6. BILLY MILLS
        1964 gold medal in 10000m.  A relative unknown, who on
the day when he needed to, gave the greatest performance of his
life.  In that way, the antithesis of Oerter, but Olympic
nonetheless.  An inspiration.

7. RAY EWRY
8. WILMA RUDOLPH
        Both were crippled as children, but through dedication
learned to walk.  Ewry holds record for most gold medals in
Olympic history, 10.  Although they were all in the now-abandoned
standing high jump, long jump and triple jump events, he still
competed in four Olympics (1900-1908) and set records that were
never broken.  Rudolph won the 1960 100m, 200m, and gold in 4x100 relay.

9. EVELYN ASHFORD
        4 golds and one silver, competing from 1976 to 1988.  And
stopped running completely for a few years, had a baby and then
returned to medal again.  Man!

10.*** FOSBURY
        In 1968, Fosbury introduced a new high jump style that
would revolutionize the sport.  He had been trying it in U.S.
collegiate competitions, with mixed success.  Even at the
Olympics, there was debate whether to use it.  The technique of
running a curved approach, turning backwards in the air after
takeoff to go over bar backwards, stretching the back and
flipping the legs upwards; it's now so common that anyone who
attempts the old straddle technique in a schoolyard is questioned
whether it's legal, and the scissors technique is for those who
can't master the Fosbury.  It wasn't a decisive victory for
Fosbury; his American opponent using straddle failed at the final
height, while Fosbury made it on his third and final attempt.
Nonetheless, Fosbury had the courage to use the new technique,
and changed his sport forever.

Others who rank: Eddie Eagan (gold medal boxing 1920, bobsled
1932; only athlete to win gold at Winter and Summer).

Johnny Weismuller (back to back gold in 100 freestyle; came from
an era when they realized that when you have greatest swimmer in
the world on your team, you put him on the waterpolo team too)

1968 mens track (collectively, 100m Jim Hines, 200m Tommie Smith,
400m Lee Evans, long jumper Bob Beamon; set records that lasted
phenomenally long time; partly the altitude, partly emotion)

1972 mens basketball (have never picked up their silver medals,
because they feel they were wrongly treated by officals at end of
gold medal game; right or wrong, I respect their resolve)

Jim Lightbody In 1904, won the 800m, 1500m, and 3000
steeplechase.  All were close races also.

--------------
I guess I have a bias towards the Summer Games, particularly for
Track and Field.  Oh well; they're my favourites alone, so deal
with it! :-)

**********************************
Kevin Gloin  University of Calgary

**********************************

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Vcm3 » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 15:44:02

<please tell me your favorite olympians (USA) >

My favorite is certainly Dave Wottle. He ran in the 1972 800 meters. After a
lap, he was far back. Then he launched a thrilling rally that seemed certain to
come up short. Incredibly, in the last 100 meters he passed two Kenyan runners
and then, in the final stride, a Soviet who fell as he lunged for the line.

Unfortunately, Wottle is mostly remembered today not for his on-track
accomplishments, but for accidentally forgetting to remove the golf cap he
always wore during the National Anthem.

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Stein H?kon Lyg » Fri, 15 Apr 1994 21:38:37

I

Quote:
>3. JIM THORPE
>        One of history's greatest athletes, and tragedies.
>Thorpe won gold in the 1912 pentathlon and the decathlon, but was
>stripped of his medals later when it was revealed that he had
>received some money for playing some minor league baseball.  For
>me, Thorpe epitomizes everything wrong with a sports world (then
>and now) run by people who have never played the game, and have
>never worried where the next meal is coming from.  Particularly
>when million dollar athletes are allowed to compete today, it is
>my belief that the Olympic movement owes Thorpe and his family an
>apology the magnitude of which the English language does not have
>words to properly express.  By the way, it is an urban legend
>that Thorpe broke Eisenhower's leg in a college football game,
>but it is fact that Thorpe did play pro football and baseball
>after 1912, and little known that he also came 4th in the 1912
>high jump and 7th in the long jump.

Did'nt Thorpe and his family receive back the pentathlon medal from the
Norwegian "winner"s family? I think I've read about such a desission made by
IOC.
 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Kevin Glo » Sat, 16 Apr 1994 13:08:02


Quote:
>I

>>3. JIM THORPE
>Did'nt Thorpe and his family receive back the pentathlon medal from the
>Norwegian "winner"s family? I think I've read about such a desission made by
>IOC.

Thorpe was reinstated for all records in 1983 by Juan Antonio
Samaranch.  Don't know about the runner-up and their records.
Hope it was like the synchro swimming from 1992 (they let
Babb-Sprague keep gold; gave one also to Frechette).

Too bad he had passed away before reinstatement.

************************************
Kevin Gloin  University of Calgary

************************************

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by fa.. » Sun, 17 Apr 1994 06:38:35

--

How could you possibly forget Jean Claude Killy.  He won all the alpine
skiing events in 1964.

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favorite olympians

Post by Lars Henrik Tomb » Mon, 18 Apr 1994 20:26:46

|>
|> --
|>
|> How could you possibly forget Jean Claude Killy.  He won all the alpine
|> skiing events in 1964.
|>
|>

Well, one reason might be that the original poster asked for the newsgroup's
favourtite US olympians.

--
Regards,

Lars H. Tombre
Norwegian Institute of Technology

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Stein H?kon Lyg » Tue, 19 Apr 1994 18:31:35


Quote:

>Subject: Re: favorite olympians
>Date: 17 Apr 1994 11:26:46 GMT

>|>
>|> --
>|>
>|> How could you possibly forget Jean Claude Killy.  He won all the alpine
>|> skiing events in 1964.
>|>
>|>
>Well, one reason might be that the original poster asked for the newsgroup's
>favourtite US olympians.
>--

By the way, Killey won his medals in 68, NOT in 64.
 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Stein H?kon Lyg » Tue, 19 Apr 1994 18:33:16


Quote:

>Subject: Re: favorite olympians
>Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 09:31:35 GMT


>>Subject: Re: favorite olympians
>>Date: 17 Apr 1994 11:26:46 GMT

>>|>
>>|> --
>>|>
>>|> How could you possibly forget Jean Claude Killy.  He won all the alpine
>>|> skiing events in 1964.
>>|>
>>|>
>>Well, one reason might be that the original poster asked for the newsgroup's
>>favourtite US olympians.
>>--
>By the way, Killey won his medals in 68, NOT in 64.

             ^^^^^^  
Sorry. Killy.
 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Richard Iva » Thu, 21 Apr 1994 09:01:12

Quote:


><please tell me your favorite olympians (USA) >

Jesse Owens.

He attended Ohio State University, were he was a star.

He won 4 gold medals (100m, 200m, long jump, member of 4x100 relay) in
the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  It is said that Hitler greeted many of the gold
medal winners, but not Jesse.

About 20 years ago I read a story in a book about the Olympics.  I haven't
heard it elsewhere so, as much as I hate to, I've begun to doubt it's
accuracy.  It goes like this:

  1936 Berlin Olympics.  Jesse Owens had already won gold medals in the 100
  and 200 meter sprints.  His next event was the long jump.

  On his first attempt Jesse had a good first jump but the German officials
  said he fouled (ie, his leaping foot touched past the take-off board).  
  On his second attempt he was careful not to foul and again had a long jump.  
  But, the officials didn't measure it, saying he fouled again.  

  Then, in one of the greatest moments of sports, on his final attempt Jesse
  walked up to the takeoff board, measured out a foot distance before the
  board and drew a line in the cinders, all in plain view of the capacity
  stadium.  He trotted back to the beginning of the run way, ran back down
  it at his world record speed, and took off from *his* mark.  This time
  they measured it - a new Olympic and World record.  Gold medal number 3.

Inside Ohio State University's stadium there is a plaque commemorating him.
In a nearby building, the same one they use for basketball games they have
his spikes, bronzed.
--
------------------------------------------------------------

Network Specialist     517-353-9991       E Lansing MI 48824

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Mika Perki|m{ » Fri, 22 Apr 1994 18:13:20

:   1936 Berlin Olympics.  Jesse Owens had already won gold medals in the 100
:   and 200 meter sprints.  His next event was the long jump.

:   Then, in one of the greatest moments of sports, on his final attempt Jesse
:   walked up to the takeoff board, measured out a foot distance before the
:   board and drew a line in the cinders, all in plain view of the capacity
:   stadium.  He trotted back to the beginning of the run way, ran back down
:   it at his world record speed, and took off from *his* mark.  This time
:   they measured it - a new Olympic and World record.  Gold medal number 3.

Not quite. This happened in the qualification. His olympic record-jump in
the final was jumped from the board. I think it was his (German) rival Luz
Long who hinted him to jump way before the board in the qualification.
And his gold medal jump (806cm) was NOT a WR, which he had jumped in the
previous year, and which was 7cm better.

Still one of the greatest athletes ever, no argues with that!

----
Mika

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by Bettina Hel » Sun, 24 Apr 1994 08:40:00

My favorite Olympian? Paul Wylie - who else?  :-)

* OLX 2.1 TD * Lord, what fools these mortals be!

 
 
 

favorite olympians

Post by PhillyS » Sun, 05 Jun 1994 07:27:06

Quote:

Martin) writes:
><please tell me your favorite olympians (USA) >

Not one vote for the franchise player of the U.S. Olympic team over
the past 3 Winter Games, Bonnie Blair?  

For shame :)

Paul Hanlin, Jr.
(major big-time Bonnie Blair fan, looking for a tape of her 38.99
world record-setting performance in the women's 500m at the Olympic
Oval in Calgary on 3/26/94; please e-mail me if you have a copy of
that race.  Thanks!)