“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” -Pierre de Coubertin
The Olympic Games are unlike any other sporting competition in terms of scope and concept. As the pioneering female athletes from the Middle East who travel to London for the 2012 summer games can surely attest, there is a value in taking part that can't be quantified. Of course, don't tell Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt that winning doesn't matter. For all the high-minded ideals espoused by Coubertin and the Olympic movement, the summer and winter Olympics also showcase most of the finest athletes in the world.
From inaugural modern Olympics held in Athens during the summer of 1896 and organized by Coubertin and the first International Olympic Committee right through the events set to begin soon in London, the Olympics have produced moments that resonate across the globe. The summer Olympics in particular have produced some of the most iconic moments in sports. From Jesse Owens frequent presence atop the medal stand in Hitler's Berlin in 1936 to Usain Bolt's exuberant domination in 2008, there have been no shortage of unforgettable performances.
Others might point to the U.S. basketball Dream Team that won gold in 1992 as the most amazing Olympic happening. While some will say that Abebe Bikila authored the greatest Olympic feat. The Ethiopian marathon runner ran barefoot in the 1960 Rome Games en route to a historic gold medal.
However, not all of the iconic Olympics moments are celebratory. The image of a masked terrorist on a balcony in the Olympic Village in Munich is indelibly inked in memories around the world. Representative of the many peoples who convene to compete, the Olympics are at turns inspring, courageous, controversial and, in a few instances, tragic. There is nothing like it. With the 2012 London Games rapidly approaching, we want to know what is your most unforgettable summer Olympics moment. Scroll down below and vote!
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