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

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret." - Jackie Joyner-Kersee

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret." - Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Sept. 26, 1988 - Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids and stripped of his 100-meter gold medal

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On September 24, 1988, Ben Johnson won the 100m final at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. Johnson would later remark that he would have been even faster had he not raised his hand in the air just before he finished the race. However, Johnson’s urine samples were found to contain stanozolol, and he was disqualified two days later. He later admitted having used steroids when he ran his 1987 world record, which caused the IAAF to rescind that record as well. Johnson and coach Francis complained that they used doping in order to remain on an equal footing with the other top athletes on drugs they had to compete against. In testimony before the Dubin inquiry into drug use, Francis charged that Johnson was only one of many cheaters, and he just happened to get caught. Later, six of the eight finalists of the 100-meter race tested positive for banned drugs or were implicated in a drug scandal at some point in their careers: Carl Lewis, who was given the gold medal, Linford Christie, who was moved up to the silver medal and who went on to win gold at the next Games, Dennis Mitchell, who was moved up to fourth place and finished third to Christie in 1992, and Desai Williams, Johnson’s countryman who won a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. In the ESPN documentary ESPN 30 for 30 Films: 9.79*, eventual silver medallist Christie states, and footage of the race shows, that Lewis “ran out of his lane… two or three times” during the race, which should have resulted in Lewis’ automatic disqualification.

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