Our Favourite Olympic Moments!
With the summer Olympics just around the corner (open ceremonies kick off tomorrow!), we can’t help but relive our favourite Olympic moments. Click through our slideshow to see our picks. Please share yours in the comment section below!
The Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius (Higher, Faster, Stronger) says nothing about winning – only trying harder. No one embodies the Olympic spirit better than John Stephen Ahkwari of Tanzania, who fell during the 1968 Mexico Olympics marathon. An hour after the race was won, he doggedly limped into the stadium and crossed the finish line, winning admiration worldwide.
A Perfect 10 – seven times.
I know most people remember the gold medals moments, but The Olympics are also about triumphs of the human spirit. The fact that Silken Laumann made the final of the single women’s skulls in Barcelona in 1992 was incredible in itself. Just 10 weeks earlier, another boat had collided with her shell during training, leaving 200 pieces of wood in her leg and the muscles torn away from the bone. It didn’t look like she would make the Olympics at all. But in the last 100 metres of the final, she managed a burst of strength that pushed her from fourth to third, and unto the podium. When we’re talking summer Olympics, that’s definitely a proud Canadian moment for me.
Olympic gold. World title. World record. Donovan Bailey owned all three after running 9.84 in the men’s 100m at the 1996 Atlanta Games, vaulting himself to national hero status while erasing the shame of the Ben Johnson scandal eight years prior. Shortly after, American Olympian Michael Johnson declared himself, not Bailey, the “World’s Fastest Man.” They eventually raced, and Bailey beat him too.
I’m not ashamed to say that it’s near impossible for me to get through a medal ceremony where we’ve won gold without tears. I love sharing in our athletes’ triumphs but it’s the personal stories that get me invested. I’ll be a forever fan of freestyle skier, Alexandre Bilodeau not so much for his gold-medal win at Vancouver in 2010 but for his love and dedication to brother, Frédéric whom he took every opportunity to share the spotlight with. I was never so proud to be Canadian than watching, blurry-eyed, as Alexandre happily let Frédéric steal the show during his post-win interview with Brian Williams. That’s how we win.
Being a Jamaican, trying to think of my favourite Olympic moment is easy. It has to be the 100m final of the 2008 games in Beijing. Of course, we all know how it ended. Jamaican runner Usain Bolt not only won, but he set a new World Record of 9.69 seconds, making him the fastest man in the world. I was lucky enough to actually be in Jamaica at the time, and the energy – island-wide – was just something you can’t describe, you can only feel. Even the crime stopped momentarily! Bolt received a lot of slack for beating his chest victoriously when he realized how far ahead of the other racers he was, but to me that moment was just so- Jamaican.
My favorite Olympic moment is in the future – set to occur during the London 2012 Games where my longtime coach and trainer, David Marcus, will make his Canadian Team debut competing in the equestrian discipline of dressage. He is a new Canadian having acquired citizenship last December. Originally from the US, David, 32, is riding Chrevi’s Capital, a Danish Warmblood gelding. It is the first Olympics for both man and beast and I only wish CTV was covering the sport so I could watch it and cheer David on!