We Count Down Top Olympic Moments: Moments 20 to 17
The London Olympic Games kick off on Friday! For two weeks, the entire planet will be captivated by these incredible athletes and their seemingly otherworldly feats. With the Games just days away, we have been thinking a lot about the greatest Olympic moments of all time. This week, we will be counting down our top 20, starting with moments 20 – 17 today:
20. 1988 Teenager Janet Evans wins 3 gold medals
17-year old Janet Evans was nothing short of brilliant in Seoul. She took home three gold medals, setting a new world record in the 400m freestyle event, a record that would not be broken until 2006. She was the only American swimmer to win an individual gold in Seoul.
19. 1976 Margaret Murdock becomes first woman to win a medal in shooting
Margaret Murdock achieved something special in the 1976 Montreal Games. She won a silver medal in the rifle competition, which then included both men and women. She tied U.S. captain Lanny Bassham, but Olympic rules forbade shoot-offs, and she was awarded the silver.
18. 2008 USA softball upset by Japan, but shows unity in spelling out 2016
The United States softball team won three gold medals and 22 straight Olympic games between 1996 and 2008. The 2004 team is arguably the most dominant team in Olympic history. In fact, Team USA was so dominant that Olympic softball was voted out of the 2012 Olympics in part because they never lost. Ironically enough, in Beijing, they suffered a devastating upset to Japan in the gold medal game. However, team USA, in a beautiful display of unity and sportsmanship, spelled out 2016 in softballs with Japan and bronze-medalists Australia at the medal ceremony in an effort to bring softball back for the 2016 games.
17. 1948 Alice Coachman becomes the first African-American woman to win a gold medal
In 1948, Alice Coachman soared 1.68m high on her first jump of competition to win the high jump gold medal. In doing so, she became the first African-American female to win a gold medal. She would have likely won more medals, and earlier, had the 1940 and 1944 Games not been cancelled due to the war.