The Top 10 US Olympic Moments
The time has come that we have all been waiting for, the 2012 London Olympic Games begin tonight! The opening ceremonies will be this evening at 9 p.m. London time (4 p.m ET). You can watch the ceremony through live online streaming, or you can wait for the television broadcast, which will begin at 7 pm ET.
In the spirit of the Olympics, we have put together a list of some of the best moments in history. Take a look and relive some of our countries greatest moments! GO USA!
#10. An Injured Kerri Strug Pulls Through For The Team
The US women were on their way to a historic win, when team member Dominique Moceanu fell on both of her vaults. The American team then had only a slim lead on the Russians. Strug was the team’s only hope. She too fell on her first vault, and badly injured her ankle. Ignoring the pain, she stuck her next vault and earned the American team their first Olympic gold in Atlanta in 1996.
#9. USA Takes Gold For Women’s Soccer
More than 70,000 fans watched the US women take on China. With 22 minutes left to play, Tiffeny Milbrett scored the winning goal. 1996 was the first year that women’s soccer was included in the Olympic games. The US women’s basketball and softball team also won gold in Atlanta that year.
#8. Carl Lewis Wins Four Gold Medals In Track And Field
Carl Lewis tied Jesse Owens’ record, winning four gold metals in track and field during the Los Angeles Games in 1984. And he made it look easy. He finished first in the long jump, 100, 200, and 4×100-meter relay.
#7. Billy Mills Sets Wins An American First
In 1964, Billy Mills became the first American to win a gold medal in the 10,000 footrace. He still remains the only US athlete to win in that event. Mills was a lieutenant in the Marine Corps, and originally finished second in the Olympic Trails. At the very end of the race he passed by Ron Clarke and Mohamed Gammoudi for one of the greatest Olympic upsets of all times.
#6. Men’s Volleyball Wins In The Midst of Tragedy
Just one day after the opening ceremonies in Beijing, the father-in-law of the head volleyball coach, Hugh McCutcheon’s, was attacked and killed. The team rallied behind their coach, beating the very good Brazilian team for the gold metal. It was the first time the US men won gold in volleyball since 1988.
#5. Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) Gets The World’s Attention
Everything started for “The Greatest” at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He was only 18 and a definite underdog. He defeated Polish boxer Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in the light-heavyweight gold medal match. After his victory, the Louisville native didn’t take his gold metal off for two days.
#4. Michael Phelps Wins 8 Gold Medals
The biggest star of the 2008 Olympics was Michael Phelps, and all eyes were on the swimmer to win a record number of medals. He won his 8th gold medal during the 400 medley relay. The US men also set a world record in that relay.
#3. Bob Beamon’s Leap Shatters Records
Before Beamon competed in the 1968 Mexico City games, the record for the long jump was 27 feet, 4 3/4 inches. Beamon’s jump was 29 feet, 2 1/2 inches, breaking the record by 21 3/4 inches. He held the record for another 23 years.
#2. The Dream Team Goes Pro and Wins Big
Olympic basketball was first opened to both pros and amateurs in 1989. The 1992 “Dream Team” was made up of 11 professional athletes and 1 collegian athlete. The men dominated, winning each game by an average of 43.8 points points. The roster included legends like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.
#1. Jesse Owens Wins Four Gold Medals in Front Of Hitler
Hitler was counting on the Olympic games to showcase the strength of the Aryan race, but Jesse completely messed up Hitler’s plans. Owens, an Alabama native and grandson of a slave won a total of four gold medals during the games. He was recognized as an Olympic hero during the games, but upon his return to the US he still could not ride in the front of the bus.