SPORTS
02/02/2013 08:53 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2013

Super Bowl Highlights: John Elway Helicopter Dive, Lynn Swann Catch Among Top Plays Ever (VIDEO)

Playing with the desperation of a man who knew he was nearer to the end of his career than the beginning, John Elway authored one of the most memorable moments in Super Bowl history with an all-out effort for a first down in Super Bowl XXXII. With his team even with Brett Favre's Packers, 17-17, deep into the third quarter and facing a 3rd-and-6 situation at the Packers' 12-yard line, the Broncos' 37-year-old quarterback dove -- only to be hit and spun around like a top while in the air -- for a few precious yards rather than taking the path of less resistance out of bounds. With a fresh set of downs to work with, the Broncos would take the lead two plays later.

"We never felt so much energy after John ran like he did, refusing to go out bounds, absorbing that hit like he did," Broncos defensive lineman Mike Lodish later told ESPN. "When I saw that, I just shook my head and said, 'That's some kind of leader.' We were energized beyond control. After John's run, we knew we were going to be Super Bowl champions. Finally."

While this memorable Super Bowl moment was perhaps most remarkable for its fearlessness there are many other iconic plays defined by grace and precision, including Lynn Swann's acrobatic sideline grab in Super Bowl X and Santonio Holmes' balletic toe-tapping touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII. There were also plenty of memorable catches not made by Steelers. Two of them were snagged by New York Giants, David Tyree and Mario Manningham, in separate Big Blue wins over the powerhouse New England Patriots.

Over the decades, the Super Bowl has been the stage for the some truly incredible moments of individual achievement. Without further ado, here are some of the greatest highlights in Super Bowl history.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Most Memorable Super Bowl Plays Ever

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS