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Throughout the Olympic Games, there have been numerous extraordinary and spectacular athletes whose performances have been unbelievable. The number of medals is not necessarily the criteria to be a great athlete! Other factors such as spirit, humility and sportsmanship are essential to be remembered as well. Below, we have listed some of the Olympic athletes who should be considered the greatest, and are excited to see some of them in Rio!

 

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Carl Lewis won 10 Olympic medals, 9 of them were gold ones. He is an American Sprinter and Long Jumper, who set many world records, and his record in Long Jumping remains unsurpassed. (Image Source)

 

 

Emil Zatopek

Emil Zatopek as known as “Locomotive” is considered to be one of the greatest runners of 20th century. This Czechoslovakian was the first person who broke the 29 minute mark for 10.000 m and 60 minute mark for 20.000 m run. (Image Source)

 

 

 

 

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Michael Phelps is an American swimmer, and is the only man who has won 14 gold medals in the Olympics. Phelps holds an astonishing total of 39 world records.(Image Source)

 

 

 

Usain Bolt 

Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt is known to be the fastest man on the globe, he can run 100 meters in 9,56 seconds. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he won all gold medals in 3 sprinting events and set world records for all of them. (Image Source)

 

 

 

Mark Spitzspitz

American Mark Spitz also known as “Mark the Shark,” is one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and set new world records in all 7 swimming events he competed in. (Image Source)

 

 

 

Nadia Comaneci

At the age of 14, Nadia Comaneci’s performance in 1976 Montreal Olympics, was incredible, and got her a perfect 10 which is a nearly impossible feat in Olympics. She won total of 9 Olympic medals during her career. (Image Source)

 

 

 

 

Jesse Owens

American Jesse Owens was a groundbreaking sprinter who only attended the Olympics once, and won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. (Image Source)

 

 

 

 

Paavo Nurmi

Finnish middle and long distance runner who won 12 medals in Track and Field, 9 of them gold. His nickname was the “Flying Finn,” as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. (Image Source)

 

 

 

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Muhammad Ali is known as the “The Greatest.” He won a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics in boxing. Ali had quite interesting style of boxing, which gave him his iconic status. He is considered to be the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. (Image Source)

 

 

 

Birgit Fischer

Birgit Fischer is a German Kayaker who has won 12 Olympic medals, 8 of them gold. She has been both the youngest and oldest Olympic canoeing champion. (Image Source)