July 30, 1976 - Bruce Jenner wins gold in the decathlon at the Montreal Olympics

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His 8,617 points set a world record in the event.

The secret to Jenner’s success was his preparation. In the 1970s, most decathletes trained with other decathletes. Bruce Jenner, however, trained with some of the world’s best athletes in each of the 10 decathlon events. “If you train with a decathlon man,” Jenner told Dave Anderson of The New York Times in 1976, “you can’t visualize that you can do much better. But if you throw the discus with Mac Wilkins or throw the shot with Al Feuerbach, then they’re 20 feet ahead of me. You learn much more that way.”

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(via athleticpoetics)

July 29, 1996 - Carl Lewis, at age 35, won his fourth Olympic gold medal

By the time the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta rolled around, Carl Lewis was 35 years old. Though he was still admired around the world for his previous Olympic triumphs, he had barely managed to qualify for the U.S. team in the long jump and most experts believed he’d be lucky to medal, let alone win another gold. Going into the last of his three jumps, Lewis trailed Emmanuel Bangué of France and his leading jump of 26’ 10 ½” by two inches. Lewis took off cleanly after a smooth sprint and landed face down, but knowing instinctively that the jump had secured him first place, he quickly got to his feet and raised his arms in triumph. His mark of 27’ 10 ¾” was his longest in two years—a full foot ahead of Bangue—and good enough for his fourth consecutive gold in the long jump.

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July 27, 1996 - Donovan Bailey sets world record for the Men’s 100 Meters with a time of 9.84

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The previous record was 9.85 held by Leroy Burrell of the United States. Donovan Bailey’s time of 9.84 in Atlanta was the 100 m world record from 1996 until 1999, when it was broken by Greene. The time also stood as the Commonwealth record from 1996 until 2005, when it was broken by Asafa Powell, and is the current Canadian record (shared with Bruny Surin since 1999). His Olympic record was broken by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

July 19, 1996 - Ali lit the opening flame at Summer Olympics

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Former U.S. boxing gold medalist, Muhammad Ali was also given a replacement gold medal for his boxing victory at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Ali had supposedly thrown his previous gold medal into the Ohio River after being refused entry into a restaurant. The United States would dominate the medal count, winning 44 gold medals (Russia was second with 26) and 101 total medals, beating second place Germany who finished with 65. However, it was the Canadians who stole the show in the two biggest events of the Olympics.

The men’s 100-meter race, which is widely considered the main event at any Summer Olympics, was won by Donovan Bailey in a world record time of 9.84 seconds. Bailey would also lead Canada to gold in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay.

"The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special." - Eddie Reese

It’s going to take all you’ve got.

"If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win." - Carl Lewis

Confidence is key and keys open doors.

Feb. 1, 1995 - John Stockton surpassed Magic Johnson to become the all time NBA assists leader

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Needing 11 assists to break Magic Johnson's all-time NBA mark of 9,221, Utah Jazz guard John Stockton passes Magic before the first half is over against Denver. And, appropriately, the record-breaking assist comes via a pass to Karl Malone. The record breaker comes in Stockton’s 860th game; Magic needed 874 for his total. In a message to Stockton via Jumbotron, a smiling Magic says, “John, from one assist man to another, you are the greatest team leader I have ever played against.”

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"There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work there are no limits." - Michael Phelps

Hard work. Dedication.

"It’s like being in love with a woman. She can be unfaithful, she can be mean, she can be cruel, but it doesn’t matter. If you love her, you want her, even though she can do you all kinds of harm. It’s the same with me and boxing. It can do me all kinds of harm, but I love it." - Floyd Patterson

The Gentleman of Boxing.

"Being the first to cross the finish line makes you a winner in only one phase of life. It’s what you do after that really counts." - Ralph Boston

Cool photo! Ralph Boston, right, with Jesse Owens after breaking Owen’s 25-year-old long jump record.

"Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it." - Jesse Owens

"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." - Mia Hamm

"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." - Mia Hamm

Oct. 17, 1968 - Bob Beamon long jumped 29 feet, 2 1/2 inches

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Dubbed by many as the ‘Leap of the Century’ Bob Beamon's long jump remained the world record for 22 years, 316 days until it was broken in 1991 by Mike Powell. This is the second longest holding of this record, as Jesse Owens held the record for 25 years, 1935-1960.

video of the jump

"Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made." - Gabby Douglas

"Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made." - Gabby Douglas

"Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." - Dan Gable

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