5 Olympic Legends

legendary olympians

Remarkable Olympic Athletes

  • Jesse Owens
  • Usain Bolt
  • Michael Phelps
  • Paavo Nurmi
  • Lindsey Vonn

Many athletes dream of the bronze medal, silver medal, gold medal, or maybe even multiple medals. Winning an Olympic gold medal is something special to dream about. They also dream of the Summer Olympics or Winter Olympics, depending on their sport of choice. From the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, to the team events and individual events, to the closing ceremony, there is much to dream about. Given the long history of the Olympic games, the list of Olympic legends is about as long as one could imagine. Nevertheless, there are those famous Olympic athletes whose achievements pushed the limits beyond what everyone thought was possible. For the most famous Olympic champions, breaking records was borderline effortless as their capabilities were often incomprehensible. The following Olympic athletes all won gold medals and one made Olympic history.

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, under the rule of Adolf Hitler, where racism was blatantly obvious and the world was at the brink of World War II makes the entire endeavor even more special. According to Olympic.org, Jesse Owens earned his legendary Olympic athlete status by winning gold medals, four to be exact, and setting two world records at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. Although his accomplishments as a track and field athlete 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.

Here is how Jesse Owens’ medal count breaks down:

Berlin 1916:

  • four gold medals

Usain Bolt

With multiple gold medals that he won over the course of three different Summer Olympic Games, Usain Bolt remains one of the most efficient competitors to ever race in track and field Olympics. To be exact, he won nine gold medals. 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.

Here is how Usain Bolt’s medal count breaks down:

Beijing 2008:

  • two gold medals

London 2012:

  • three gold medals

Rio 2016:

  • three gold medals

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps has the most Olympic medals and the most Olympic gold medals in the history of the world. This swimmer ended his career in 2016 after winning 28 total 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.

Here is how Michael Phelps’ medal count breaks down:

Athens 2004:

  • five gold medals and two bronze medals

Beijing 2008:

  • eight gold medals

London 2012:

  • four gold medals and two silver medals

Rio 2016:

  • five gold medals and one silver medal

Paavo Nurmi

Born in Finland, Paavo Nurmi reached the legendary Olympic status for his country and the world by winning 12 medals in track and field and cross country. 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.

Here is how Paavo Nurmi’s medal count breaks down:

Antwerp 1920:

  • three gold medals and one silver medal

Paris 1924:

  • five gold medals

Amsterdam 1928:

  • one gold medal and two silver medals

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn is a legendary winter games athlete and a world champion skier. When thinking of winter sports, she is one of the first ones to come to mind. Lindsey Vonn retired in 2019 but cemented her legacy as a legendary Olympic alpine ski racer when she became only the second female to ever win four world 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.

Here is how Lindsey Vonn’s medal count breaks down:

2010 Vancouver:

  • one gold medal and one bronze medal

2018 PyeongChang

  • one bronze medal

Concluding Thoughts

Other notable Olympic athletes include:

  • Steve Redgrave: rower from Great Britain
  • Edwin Moses: hurdler from America
  • Jackie Joyner Kersee: long jumper and heptathlon from America
  • Jim Thorpe: pentathlon from America
  • Simone Biles: female gymnast from America

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 in the sports arena.

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