15 Iconic Photos in Olympic History

As the Tokyo Olympics is only one month away, we look at the Top 15 Iconic Photos in Olympic History.
15  Iconic Photos in Olympic History

Many people have witnessed several moments filled with different emotions in the Olympics. Some moments have been emotional whereas some moments have been weird where some have been entertaining but in the end, every moment has its own charm, story, and significance. This blog is a presentation of the 15 Iconic Photos in Olympic History.

Note: The photos are in random order. Every photo here has their own significance in the history of Olympics.

1. Gali Devers- Olympics 1992

Image Credit- Getty Images

Gali Devers, the three-time Olympic gold medalist, and the five-time Olympian is the second woman in the history of the Olympics who successfully defended the Olympic title. Everything was going great for her. She made a record in the 100-meter hurdles and qualified for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team and was fully prepared for the Olympics in Seoul. For a few days, she was feeling unwell and later was eliminated in the semifinals. After some years, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. The solution was radiation which also started showing harmful effects on her feet and worsen the situation while walking.

After proper treatment and with a lot of determination, she overcame her immune disorder, returned to the track, and got qualified for the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. She won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in a span of 10.82 seconds. The smiling Devers is one of the Iconic Photos in Olympic History.

2. Kelly Holmes- Olympics 2004

Image Credit- Getty Images

Kelly Holmes is a British runner who participated in both the 800m and 1500m at Athens 2004. She did not plan on contesting in both of them yet she ended up winning in both of the final major championships and created history by winning double gold medals. It was indeed one of the best moments of her life filled with absolute joy and surprise for her.

3. Lawrence Lemieux- Olympics 1988

Image Credit- Olympic.ca

In the 1988 Olympics, keep these dreams of winning the medal aside and ran towards saving two competitors in the dangerous and choppy waters. He was clearly sailing very well and had the medal in his sights. In that situation, the Canadian sailor considered saving the lives of his fellow competitors was more important than running towards the medal and national glory.

4. Grant Hackett- Olympics 2000

Image Credit- Getty Images

Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics men's- 1500 metre freestyle was not that easy for the Australian swimmer, Grant Hackett. The swimmer had a partially collapsed lung which made the situation difficult for him. It was really difficult to swim in that moment but he he did not let his disease affect his performance in the Olympics. He refused the disease to hold him back and he ended up winning the 2000 Summer Olympics in front of his home crowd.

5. Derek Redmond- Olympics 1992

Image Credit- IPACS

Derek Redmond, the British sprinter, pulled his hamstring while running on the courts during the semi-finals. After this, the moment was all about his determination, enthusiasm and love towards his profession and the sports. Instead of such a severe injury, he completed covering the entire track with the help of his father. This is one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history.

6. Greg Louganis- Olympics 1988

Image Credit- Getty Images

Just a few months before the Seoul Olympics 1988, he was found HIV positive but kept it a secret as the South Korean government won't permit him to participate. During the Olympics, the American Olympic diver hit his head hard with the springboard in the preliminary rounds. But this did not stop him from competing. He came back stronger and bounced again and won the gold medal for his country.

7. Leander Paes

Image Credit- Getty Images

Leander Paes, the Indian tennis player, has created a record by competing at seven Olympic games. He also made a record for winning the most Davis Cup doubles with 43 victories. He started playing in 1992 and retired in 2016.

8. Usain Bolt

Image Courtesy- Time Magazine

This photograph was taken by Cameron Spencer, a Sydney-based photographer with Getty Images. Bolt here amusingly looks at his opponents as he easily beats them. Perhaps, this is one of the Iconic Photos in Olympic History. Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter, is the greatest runner of all time. He holds the world record in 100 meters 200 meters and 4*100 meters relay. He is the only sprinter in the history of the Olympics who won the titles in 100 meters and 200 meters in the three consecutive Olympics 2008, 2012, and 2016.

9. Haile Gebrselassie- Olympics 2000

Image Credit- Getty Images

The 2000 Summer Olympics took a turn when the Ethiopian, Haile Gebrselassie edged out his competitor, Paul Tergat from Kenya. Paul Tergat was easily winning the 10000 meters race but the game changed at the very last moment when Haile Gebrselassie edged out by only 0.09 second. That is why this photo of Haile gets a position on our list of 15 Iconic Photos in Olympic History.

10. Nadia Comăneci- Olympics 1976

Image Credit- Flickr

Nadia Comăneci created a world record when she was only 14 years old. The Romanian gymnast is the first gymnast in the history of the Olympics to record a perfect 10 on TC-BB. She showed some extraordinary stirring uneven bars routine and bagged the record to her name.

11. Deriba Merga- Olympics 2008

Image Credit- Getty Images

The winner of the men's marathon at the 2008 Summer Olympics is Sammy Wanjiru. He indeed won the marathon but there was someone else who could not win the marathon but surely won the hearts of the spectators. While running, Wanjiru missed his water sport but his rival Deriba Merga chose to share his water bottle with him. This was a true essence of sportsmanship shown by him. In the end, Merga secured the fourth position in the marathon.

12. Tommie Smith and John Carlos- Olympics 1968

Image Credit- Bloomberg.com

Tommie Smith and John Carlos secured the first and third position in the Mexico City Summer Olympics, 1968. While receiving their medals, these two African American athletes showed their respect and made a statement on racism by wearing necklaces to represent the horrible situation of racism. The most iconic moment was that they gave the black power salute while standing on the podium.

13. Calgary Winter Olympics- 1988

Image Credit- Blackpast

The Disney movie Cool Runnings was inspired by the Jamaican bobsled team who debuted in the Calgary winter Olympics 1988. A disaster struck in the third heat. The driver, Dudley Stokes suffered an injury in his shoulder during training. Due to this, he lost his control on a turn and the team ended up crashing during the competition. This footage was also used in the film. This is one of the Iconic Photos in Olympic History.

14. Kerri Strug- Olymics 1996

Image Credit- Getty Images

Something unbelievable happened in the Atlanta Summer Olympics 1996. The American gymnast, Kerri Strug tore her ankle's ligament while trying the first vault. But she did not let the injury be trouble for her and with full determination and courage, she tried a second attempt and scored a 9.712, and won the gold medal for her team USA.

15. Michael Phelps

Image Credit- 7News

The American former swimmer, Michael Phelps created a new record in 2012 after his record-breaking presentation in 2008 where he won 8 gold medals. He won 8 gold medals at every event he participated in. He also successfully broke world records in seven of them. The legendary swimmer also showed a record-breaking performance in London 2012 where he won 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals.

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