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Poll 93/100 | What are your 3 favourite moments of the Summer Olympics in the 21st Century?


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1. Athens 2004. Words can't describe how much this meant as only Greeks understand what it felt like during those days. I was young then but have many memories, the best times of my life for sure! The world's attention was on us for two weeks and it was a really special feeling especially because countries of our size are usually too small to host Summer Olympics. Everyone was talking about it and that moment had a big impact on all of our lives. Even my grandmother (RIP, she died shortly after so this was basically my last memory of her before she spent the rest of her life in hospitals) who knew nothing about sport went to some games and was always buying me souvenirs of the mascots (t-shirts, stuffed animals, hats). Our whole country just united for Euro 2004 and a few weeks later we did it again. These were really magical moments for Greece and I am so thankful I got to experience them. I will be telling these stories one day to my grandchildren. That was when my Olympic addiction began. I wouldn't be posting here now if not for that.

 

2. Gianniotis winning silver at Rio 2016 in the last race of his career. He should've won gold but just to see him end his career with an Olympic medal was so nice. He was so close several times before, and was able to do it a bunch of times at World Championships too. Seeing him cry after finishing 4th in London 2012 was so painful and we didn't know if he would get another chance. But against all odds as a 36 year old he won silver in Rio 2016. He truly saved the best for last and won Greece's first swimming medal in over 100 years!

 

3. Dimas winning bronze in Athens 2004 in his last competition ever. I know I already said Athens 2004 but this moment needed it's own mention. This guy is a huge legend of Greek sport and of Olympic weightlifting in general. People just have to know his story, where he started from (a small village in the Greek minority zone of southern Albania), and what he went through living as an indigenous ethnic minority under a communist dictatorship, then he broke free and was able to settle in his motherland and then won three golds for us in 1992, 1996, 2000. Then in 2004 at home he was injured and we didn't even know if he would compete and no one expected him to win a medal. Everyone thought he is too old and out of form, and he won a bronze. The standing ovation he got from the crowd was incredible. We celebrated his bronze like a gold and when I watch that video on youtube of the medal ceremony it always brings tears to my eyes. Proud Greek moment for sure!

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In chronological order:

 

1. Lori-Ann Muenzer winning the women's sprint in Athens 2004. Nobody gave her a real chance, Cycling Canada wasn't interested in supporting her at all, yet she became the only Canadian to ever win Olympic gold in cycling. Her semi-finals win against :AUS Anna Meares was just incredibly gritty.

 

2. Eric Lamaze winning individual show jumping gold in Beijing 2008. The entire show jumping competition was a dream for Canada in 2008, with long time Olympian and Canadian show jumping legend Ian Miller picking up his first medal. But it's Lamaze's gold medal that was the most amazing. The drama of the jump-off for gold (following a very long and very entertaining bronze medal jump-off) was incredibly compelling. But most impressive is the amazing redemption story for Lamaze, who's life was derailed by cocaine addiction. Cocaine also robbed him of his chance to compete in the 1996 Olympics.

Unfortunately there has been tragedy since, with his beloved horse Hickstead dying in the ring a few years later, and recently Lamaze has sadly been battling brain cancer, and we all wish him the best. But that one night in Beijing was a perfect fairy-tale ending.

 

3. Penny Oleksiak winning gold in the 100m freestyle in Rio 2016. I almost don't feel like I have to explain that one. First gold medal for Canada in swimming or track and field (the two biggest Olympic sports) that I could remember, won by a young athlete that came out of nowhere in a huge come from behind victory. The tie with Manuel, who also made history in a bunch of ways, was pretty cool, too.

 

Bonus: Tiësto's awesome trance set at the 2004 Olympics.

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I am never prepared for questions like these, but here I will present three moments from different categories...

 

1) Rio 2016 - 10 medals Croatia. Almost doubled the previois best performance. Athletics stands in memory particularly (2G 1B). Sara Kolak exploded onto the scene in an entertaining competition. Blanka Vlašić pulled on from the hat once again, against all odds. 7th place in the athletics medal tally was crazy.

 

2) Team eventing from Rio 2016 - a competition with about 25 plot twists along the way. And even though the end result was not quite what I was cheering for, it was still a fun ride.

 

3) Beijing 2008 - Opening Ceremony. It was the first Opening Ceremony I had watched, and I was just glued to the screen for the whole 4 hours. Every Opening Ceremony that followed (Summer or Winter) was passable at best in comparison. Beijing 2008 remains as the only ceremony which I have rewatched since (multiple times).

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Slovak

 

There are too many but the hors-category should be

Matej Tóth in Rio 2016

 

canoe slalom "Super Thursday" in Beijing 2008 with 2 gold medals in 30 minutes

Jozef Krnáč winning a ,god forgive us for this audacity, Combat sport medal in Athens 2004 already the second day of the games

M Football, W Basketball and M Water Polo in Sydney 2000

 

 

International

 

it is hard to pick only 3 there are already sooo many at every games like

Ennis-Hill and Makhloufi winning golds in London 2012 , Benjamin Boukpeti winning bronze in Beijing 2008 or France beating USA in 4x100 free relay in London 2012 (with french TV commentary) was something one should experience at least once in a lifetime

 

 

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