Aug. 30, 1991 - Mike Powell set the world record for long jump

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At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in). The world record still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the record for over 20 years. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1991. He also holds the longest non-legal jump of 8.99 m (29 ft 5¾ in) (wind-aided +4.4) set at high altitude in Sestriere, Italy in 1992.

"Dr. King was in my mind and heart when I raised my fist on that podium." - John Carlos

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." - Michael Johnson

Seize the opportunity.

Aug. 26, 1999 - Michael Johnson sets 400m World Record with 43.18 seconds

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Michael Johnson breaks Butch Reynolds' 11 year standing 400m world record of 43.29 by running 43.18 at the 1999 Seville World Champs which still stands as the world record today.

Johnson formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also currently holds the world’s best time at the 300 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the 1996 Summer Olympics stood as the record for over 12 years. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson’s stiff upright running stance and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.

Aug. 11, 1984 - Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal of the Summer Olympics

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Carl Lewis and his agent Joe Douglas frequently discussed his wish to match Jesse Owens’ feat of winning four gold medals at a single Olympic Games and to “cash in” afterward with the lucrative endorsement deals which surely would follow.

Lewis started his quest to match Owens with a convincing win in the 100m, running 9.99 s. In his next event, the long jump, Lewis won with relative ease. His third gold medal came in the 200 m, where he again won handily in a time of 19.80 s, a new Olympic record and the third fastest time in history. Finally, he won his fourth gold when the 4 × 100 m relay team he anchored finished in a time of 37.83 s, a new world record eclipsing the record he helped set the year before at the World Championships.

"It’s not what other people believe you can do, it’s what you believe." - Gail Devers

Believe in yourself.

Aug. 4, 1936 - Jesse Owens wins gold in the long jump at Olympics in Berlin

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It was the second of four gold medals Jesse Owens won in Berlin, as he firmly dispelled German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler’s notion of the superiority of an Aryan “master race,” for all the world to see.

110,000 spectators watched Owens slam the door on Hitler’s racist theories. In the morning, after fouling on his first two qualifying jumps, Owens finally leaped his way into the final, where he met the young German Lutz Long. Long tied the heavily favored Owens on his second jump, but Owens answered the challenge with a mark of 26’ 5 ½”, the first jump over 26 feet in Olympic history, and an Olympic record that would stand for 24 years. As Owens and Lutz walked arm in arm around the track, the German crowd roared its approval. Hitler promptly left the stadium, missing the medal ceremony.

(via athleticpoetics)

Aug. 2, 1992 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the first woman to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon

Two years after winning the 1987 world championships in the long jump and the heptathlon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee won gold in both events at the Seoul Olympics. Her 7,291 points set a new world record for the heptathlon and her jump of 24’3 ” was a new Olympic best.

Four years later, Joyner-Kersee entered the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona the heavy favorite to win heptathlon gold. Now a seasoned veteran of the circuit, she led the field for the entire event. On August 2, the second day of competition, Joyner-Kersee started the day with a long jump of 23’3 “, good for first place. Prior to her final jump, though, she was run into while sprinting next to her rival Sabine Braun of Germany. Braun had defeated an injured Joyner-Kersee at the 1991 world championships, and the bump was later deemed “psychological warfare” by Bob Kersee. It was no matter to Joyner-Kersee, though: She overcame a poor finish in the shot-put by finishing the 800 meters in a respectable 2:11, which gave her a total of 7,044 points and the gold medal. It was only the seventh time that a woman had scored 7,000 points in the heptathlon, and the sixth time Joyner-Kersee had broken the barrier.

Aug. 1, 1996 - Michael Johnson won the gold medal for running the 200 m in 19.32 s

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Michael Johnson ran 19.66 seconds in the 200 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking Pietro Mennea’s record of 19.72 seconds, which had stood for 17 years. With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200 meters and 400 meters events, a feat never before achieved by a male athlete.

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"I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more prepared." - Allyson Felix

Mental preparation.

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 1, 1980 - Steve Ovett of Britain set a world record in the mile in 3 minutes 48.8 seconds

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Getting ready for his upcoming Olympic showdown with Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett takes down Coe’s World Record with a 3:48.8 clocking in Oslo, Norway. Coe had set a record of 3:48.95 the previous year - July 13th, 1979 - on the very same track. Finishing second to Ovett in this race was some 19 year old kid named Steve Cram, stopping the clock at 3:53.8.

Steve Ovette - World Record - 1 Mile Run, 1980:

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

Confidence is key and keys open doors.

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