The Olympic Games has been the theatre that has played host to the most celebrated and distinguished athletes in history since its revival in Athens in 1896.
The absolute pinnacle of sporting competition, we have seen world records fall, tyranny defied, and childhood dreams realised throughout the annals of time.
Olympian’s have entertained us, broken the mould, and inspired millions, so with that in mind I have chosen my top 5 Olympic athletes of all time.
Each choice have differing factors as to why they have been selected, yet I feel that each of them harvest the true embodiment of the Olympic spirit.
5. Michael Johnson.
Regarded as the greatest sprinter of his generation, this man is a four time Olympic Gold medallist and held world records in both the 200m and 400m simultaneously.
Johnson’s mere presence would suggest that something special was on the horizon at every event he competed at, with his unorthodox upright running style and explosive speed making him the featured attraction.
At the Olympics Games in Atlanta 1996 he destroyed the notion of what we deemed humanly possible, with a performance that shattered the world record for 200m. Running a mind blowing 19.32 seconds for Olympic Gold, in one of the most iconic sporting moments of the 20th century.
In the very same Olympiad he also captured 400m Gold, becoming the only man ever to win both medals at the same event.
His extraordinary display shocked the world and he was crowned the fastest man on the planet, an accolade usually reserved for the quickest 100m athletes.
Michael maintained a fierce stranglehold over both disciplines over the next four years, claiming the 400m world record as his own whilst swatting aside the competition with ease on a regular basis.
However, in an unfortunate turn of events he was denied a chance to defend his 200m title due to injury problems, and would only claim 400m gold at the Sydney Olympics in the final chapter of his illustrious career.
The original Superman will never be forgotten for raising the bar in track and field to dizzying new heights, and can now be seen as the BBC’s resident analysis expert for athletic’s events held around the globe.
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