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Who Is the Most Iconic Olympian of All Time?

GMR 2012/06/29 22:31:20
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The London 2012 Summer Olympics are right around the corner, and soon most of the planet will be caught up in the breath-taking athleticism of the world's very best. Though the Olympics are technically a sporting event, they transcend traditional entertainment to become a spectacle of human endurance, willpower, skill, strength... It would take us a while just to cover the basics, so we'll leave it there.

In honor of the London 2012 Olympics, we're running a survey on some of the greatest moments in recent Olympics history, the greatest Olympics-themed movies, and a few other related topics. Make sure to check out our 8-Question Quick Poll and see what other people think!
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  • PortaPocketGal 2012/07/03 04:33:44
    Other
    PortaPocketGal
    for me it was always Nadia Comaneci
  • ivegotl... PortaPo... 2012/07/03 15:14:53
    ivegotloveinmypants
    Oh yes, she was just 14! That was incredible. Wasn't she a gymnast?
  • PortaPo... ivegotl... 2013/01/17 05:50:01
    PortaPocketGal
    +1
    yup. amazing.
  • Godsgirlisreal 2012/07/03 03:59:47
    Carl Lewis
    Godsgirlisreal
    Know him personally
  • ivegotl... Godsgir... 2012/07/03 15:15:10
    ivegotloveinmypants
    Carl was found to have done drugs. Owens was clean.
  • Pam 2012/07/03 02:47:16
    Other
    Pam
    +1
    mark spitz For those who don't know, that's Mark Spitz who won 7 Gold medals at the Munich olympics, before the nightmare began.
  • cmpiercerd Pam 2012/07/03 05:51:34
    cmpiercerd
    And there was a walk out at the Olympics that year too. No odds. Had no one that could compete against him. Jesse, was it! No other.
  • debhead 2012/07/03 02:41:48 (edited)
    Jesse Owens
    debhead
    +2
    From the list it would have to be Jesse Owens, but there have been so many that stand out. Jesse stands out for his greatness at a time when Hitler looked at the U.S. as being inferior. It was so "in your face" in so many ways.
  • tesmith47 debhead 2012/07/03 06:08:51
    tesmith47
    funny, in that same year the news was that lynching was down from the previous years but, Alabama, where Jessie was from had a up surge in beatings of Black americans by white mobs.
    marriage between blacks and whites was still illegal and subject to fines and imprisonment,
    no black man could be a police, congressman, or hold any position over a white man etc. etc. at least Hitler was not a hypocrite
  • ivegotl... tesmith47 2012/07/03 15:16:20
    ivegotloveinmypants
    +1
    You are actually right. In Germany- before Hitler, many blacks form USA came to Germany to play in jazz clubs, and felt more comfortable there than in USA. But Hitler was justly proved wrong in 1936.
  • debhead tesmith47 2012/07/06 12:18:57
    debhead
    No, he was a crazed madman who ordered the killing of thouands of iinnocent people. Rather a hypocrite than giving Hitler any credit. Besides, the issue was Jesse Owens, not a debate over a psychotic monster.
  • Dave 007 tesmith47 2012/07/08 15:12:12
    Dave 007
    Owens was from Alabama? I thought he grew up in Cleveland Ohio and went to Ohio State.
  • Eoghan 2012/07/03 02:38:37
    Michael Phelps
    Eoghan
    Because he is!!
  • RS 2012/07/03 02:29:12
    Jesse Owens
    RS
    Not even close however, how about at least having #2 on the list...Mark Spitz!
  • Holmes 2012/07/03 02:22:10
    Michael Phelps
    Holmes
    +1
    He's awesome
  • wale63 2012/07/03 02:12:51
    Jesse Owens
    wale63
  • dr lonny wale63 2012/07/03 05:01:19
    dr lonny
    and his repudiation of the USAs racial ideas too
  • tesmith47 dr lonny 2012/07/03 06:10:44
    tesmith47
    too bad the majority of white americans, nor the government did not see it that way for a long time
  • dr lonny tesmith47 2012/07/03 17:58:17
    dr lonny
    most of these poster are commenting like the USA didn't have the same racial beliefs as Nazi Germany, and in all likelihood influenced Hitler's beliefs.
  • ShamshirMkII 2012/07/03 02:02:36
    Other
    ShamshirMkII
    The archer who launched the flaming arrow back in the Barcelona '92 games. In God's name I swear that image will remain engraved in my head for eternity.
  • Ozzyboy 2012/07/03 01:25:15
    Jim Thorpe
    Ozzyboy
    Barney Ewell should have been on that list!
  • Rob Williams 2012/07/03 01:08:16
    Other
    Rob Williams
    All of the listed people are famously successful but I think the people who embody the Olympic ideal of striving for success against all the odds are those that tried heroically and failed magnificently!

    People like Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, Eric "The Eel" Moussambani, and the Jamaican bobsleigh team.

    eddie

    eric

    jambob
  • JayLynx 2012/07/03 00:41:45
    Other
    JayLynx
    NADIA COMANECI
    nadia comaneci
  • Dave Ruble 2012/07/03 00:31:15
    Other
    Dave Ruble
    +2
    Kerri Strug. No question.
  • DISCO 2012/07/03 00:29:42
    Jim Thorpe
    DISCO
    +1
    All around athlete.
  • Greg 2012/07/03 00:16:30
    Jim Thorpe
    Greg
    +1
    Simply the best!!!
  • Scott 2012/07/03 00:09:34
    Other
    Scott
    +2
    Mark Spitz, 7 gold and 7 world records
  • Scott Scott 2012/07/03 00:13:31
    Scott
    +1
    Carl Lewis exceeding 29 feet wasn't too bad either
  • charles nelson 2012/07/02 23:32:27
    Jesse Owens
    charles nelson
    +1
    One brave dude
  • cranejumper 2012/07/02 23:26:05
    Other
    cranejumper
    +1
    Iconic would be the disgraceful black Americans holding up their black fist during the playing of the anthem.
  • tesmith47 craneju... 2012/07/03 06:16:03
    tesmith47
    you are right , iconic were tommy smith and john carlos 1968 olympics BLACK POWER SALUTE, my heroes for ever., a glorious, heroic blow to the structure of white racism here in america AND TO ALL YOU WHITE RACIST LIKE YOU CRANEJUMPER
  • ivegotl... tesmith47 2012/07/03 15:17:46
    ivegotloveinmypants
    They were right to make their salute.
  • craneju... tesmith47 2012/11/19 12:59:28
    cranejumper
    How ironic You calling me a racist and shouting it like that I said they were disgraceful during the playing of our national anthem. I didn't call them the n-word, but black Americans can use that word freely sounds like you are the one being a racist. By the way what smith and carlos stunt during the medal ceremony brought more hatred and racism towards the black american community very thoughtful of smith and carlos.
  • vanauken 2012/07/02 23:25:21
    Jesse Owens
    vanauken
    If we are talking about iconic, not merely winning medals, then certainly Jesse Owens for what that win meant. It was far more than simply winning. Jim Thorpe deserves second both as an athelete and as an olympian. Someone who can win in the decathalon and pentathalon, not to mention the non-olympic sports he excelled in, is someone who is more than a one-event star.
  • Joe Shwingding BN-ZERO 2012/07/02 23:09:55
    Jesse Owens
    Joe Shwingding BN-ZERO
    or Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Nadia Comăneci
  • ivegotl... Joe Shw... 2012/07/03 15:18:32
    ivegotloveinmypants
    Cassius Clay was too big headed, although you could argue that he faced a lot of racism at the time. White audiences simply did not want to accept that he was the greatest. Owens was more humble.
  • Joe Shw... ivegotl... 2012/07/03 16:10:50
    Joe Shwingding BN-ZERO
    that may be, but he is one of the most recognized persons in the world.
  • Lefty 2012/07/02 22:35:32
    Jesse Owens
    Lefty
    Had to be the greatest ever. He put Hitler in his place.
  • courtkennedy2005 2012/07/02 22:31:28
    Other
    courtkennedy2005
    +1
    Jesse Owens, but the most iconic image was the photo ox the 1968 Olympic medal presentation in Mexico for track and field.
  • Nameless 2012/07/02 22:30:22
    Jesse Owens
    Nameless
    Jesse Owens, hands down. He competed with grace and dignity during, perhaps, the most difficult of all modern Olympiads. He did not shirk or fade. He was every good thing of an example of what it is to be a penultimate human being - not just in circumstance but in excellence.

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