With the Olympics come joy, triumph, heartbreak and tears. Some athletes reach their goals. Others never do. Here are the top 10 Olympic moments identified by E!
Gymnastics is always a popular Olympic sport, especially when the Americans are winning. In 1984, they won big with a cute 16-year-old girl named Mary Lou Retton. The tiny treasure scored perfect 10's on the vault as well as in floor exercise. She captured the gold medal for all-around gymnastics and catapulted herself into the hearts of people everywhere.
A Jamaican sprinted his way into the history books by demolishing not one or two, but three existing world records. The Usain Bolt even broke one of his own records along the way. Talk about lightning in a bottle; he's got it and then some.
Carl Lewis repeated records set by Jesse Owens way back in 1936. He took home multiple gold medals, four in track and field. He won the long jump as well as the 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay. It was a story about the triumph of the human spirit.
Former Olympic gold medalist and Heavyweight Champion of the World, Mohammad Ali, defied Parkinson's disease and all odds to carry the Olympic torch in 1999. He lit the Olympic flame and rekindled his own flame in the hearts of people all over the world.
Michael Phelps swam his way into the record books by taking home eight gold medals in 2008. Added to the six he won at the 2006 games in Athens, it gave him a total of 14 gold medals. Phelps hopes to add to his collection this year. So far his chances look good. He's qualified in two Olympic categories so far.
In 1992, America learned to love basketball as the USA men's basketball team fought for gold. They annihilated the competition and, for once, put football on the back burner.
Bruce Jenner wasn't always the patriarchal figure of the Kardashian family. The reality show star was once famous for something elseÂ—Olympic gold. In 1976, Jenner took the lead in the 1500m and held on to it. Then he brought home the title he wanted.
A hamstring injury brought the Olympic hopes of Derek Redmon to a screeching halt. However, the runner seemed determined to finish the race. With the help of his dad he did just that. Everyone was standing and applauding as the British hero finally stepped across the finish line. There was no Olympic gold but he earned something even more importantÂ—the respect and admiration of his peers.
Nadia Comaneci was just 14 when she became the first woman to ever make a perfect score in gymnastics. She earned three gold medals in 1976 and remains one of the most recognizable Olympians of all time.
No one will ever forget the remarkable heroics of 17-year-old Kerri Shrug. The petite pixie hurt her ankle on her very first vault attempt. For most Olympians, that would have meant the end of trying. However, Kerri wrapped the foot and tried again, vaulting her way into a perfect score of 10 and Olympic gold. She had to be carried to the podium, but Kerri didn't care. She'd accomplished her goal.
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