July 31, 1976 - Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael and Leon Spinks were among five US boxers to win gold medals at Montreal Olympics

Sugar Ray Leonard, fighting with photos of his girlfriend and young son pinned to his socks, won at light welterweight, sweeping all his opponents 5-0, and then did what he would do numerous times as a pro: RETIRE! Brothers Michael Spinks and Leon Spinks won Gold at middleweight and light heavyweight. Leo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr. also brought home the Gold for the U.S at the 1976 Games. Many consider the 1976 U.S. team to be the greatest boxing team in the history of the Olympics.

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.

"I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury, unless it’s completely debilitating, I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming." - Kobe Bryant

Here to stay!

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.

June 16, 1985 - Willie Banks sets triple jump world record

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Willie Banks set a world record for the triple jump with a leap of 17.97 m (58 feet 11.5 inches) at the national championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Banks’ record stood for 10 years until it was finally broken by Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain. Willie Banks is best known for introducing the rhythmic clapping of the audience to the track and field. It is a legacy that has continued on since June of 1981.

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Feb. 24, 2002 - Team Canada defeats the U.S., 5-2, to win Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics

Team Canada and the US faced off in the final. For both nations, the gold-medal game came coincidentally on the anniversary of each nation’s last gold medal in men’s Olympic hockey. Canada last won 50 years previously at the 1952 Winter Olympics when they tied the US 3-3 (Olympic ice hockey previously only had a round-robin portion). The US won their last gold medal when they defeated Finland two days after “The Miracle on Ice" in 1980. Both games, coincidentally were played on a Sunday.

The Canada-USA final was tied at 2–2, however Canada then scored three goals to win 5–2. It was only the second time and first in 70 years that the US men’s hockey team lost an Olympic game on home soil. The first loss came against Canada (a 2-1 OT loss) in their first game at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

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Feb. 22, 1980 - Team USA beat U.S.S.R. 4-3 during the 1980 Winter Olympics

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"Do you believe in miracles?! YES!"

The “Miracle on Ice" is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men’s ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. The United States team, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet team, who had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament since 1954.

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"Great moments are born from great opportunity." - Herb Brooks

Seize the moment.

"It’s hard to win, but it’s harder to keep winning." - Alexandre Bilodeau

Repeat!

"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.

"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.

"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

"These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me, they won’t make you rebound like me, they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it." - Charles Barkley

"These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me, they won’t make you rebound like me, they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it." - Charles Barkley

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