Remarkable Olympic Athletes
- Jesse Owens
- Usain Bolt
- Michael Phelps
- Paavo Nurmi
- Lindsey Vonn
Given the long history of Olympic sports, the list of legendary Olympic athletes is about as long as one could imagine. Nevertheless, there are those whose achievements pushed the limits beyond what everyone thought was possible. For them, breaking records was borderline effortless as their capabilities were often incomprehensible.
1. Jesse Owens
Winning a gold medal at one of the largest stages in the world is certainly not easy. Doing that while performing in Nazi Germany where racism was blatantly obvious and the world was at the brink of war makes the entire endeavor even more special. Jesse Owens earned his legendary Olympic athlete status by taking four gold medals and setting two world records at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Although his accomplishments are not unbeatable when it comes to the cumulative number of medals, he definitely had to perform under conditions the likes of which modern-day athletes would probably fail to even understand.
2. Usain Bolt
With nine gold medals that he won over the course of three different Summer Olympics, Usain Bolt remains one of the most efficient competitors to ever race. His weight of 207 pounds accompanied by the height of six feet and five inches further makes his achievement even more impressive. Not to forget that he broke the 200-meter world record twice, and many experts believe that his numbers will remain undefeated for at least another decade or two.
Michael Phelps has the most Olympic medals in the history of the world. This swimmer ended his career in 2016 after winning 28 medals that included 23 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze. His swimming set the gold standard for nearly every style and discipline as there is no area in which he did not break a record or won the world title at least once. Moreover, the fact that he took on the world’s largest stage at only fifteen years of age speaks volumes about his competitive ability.
4. Paavo Nurmi
Born in Finland, Paavo Nurmi reached the legendary Olympic status for his country and the world by winning 12 medals. He was a long-distance runner who also competed in some middle-distance events. Moreover, he won six medals during the 1924 Olympics which easily qualifies for the list of most titles taken by a single performer in any discipline in one year.
5. Lindsey Vonn
Although she is still active, Lindsey Vonn cemented her legacy as a legendary Olympic alpine ski racer when she became only the second female to ever win four championships and three Olympic medals. Interestingly, her last medal came from the women’s downhill event that took place in 2018 at the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang. She made a debut in 2000 when she was only 16 years old and has been a star on the international scene ever since. She is also one of only 6 women to have victories across all five World Cup disciplines of alpine skiing.
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All of the aforementioned individuals are a testament to how dedication facilitates success. In fact, many of them inspired other individuals and even businesses to pursue incredible milestones. After all, becoming a legendary Olympic athlete comes with duties that go beyond the scope of performing well on the field.