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5 of the most inspiring moments in the Olympic Games

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 23rd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The best amateur athletes in the world match skill and endurance in a series of contests called the Olympic Games. Almost every nation in the world sends teams of selected athletes to take part. The goal of the Olympic Games are to adopt the ideal of a "sound mind in a sound body" and to promote friendship among nations.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The modern Olympic Games are named for athletic contests held in ancient Greece for almost 12 centuries. They were banned in AD 394 but were revived and made international in 1896. After 1992, the Winter and Summer Games were no longer held on the same calendar year. Winter Games were scheduled for 1994, after only a two-year interval, and every four years thereafter. The Summer Games were scheduled for 1996, and every four years thereafter.

In every Olympic Games there have been outstanding, memorable moments that leave us in awe of these amazing athletes. Below are five of some of the most inspirational and stunning moments in the modern Olympic history.

5. Dan Jansen, a favorite to win the 500-meter race in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, was told of Jane, his young sister's death that day. Distraught, he persisted in competing, but fell and was disqualified. In the 1994 games, Dan won the gold medal in the 500-meter race. He skated a victory lap with his infant daughter in his arms. She was named Jane, in memory of Dan's sister.

4. British sprinter, Derek Redmond, enjoyed much success in his Olympic career, having held the British record for the 400 meters sprint and having won the gold medals multiple times. He is best known, however, for his performance at the 1992 games in Barcelona, when he tore his hamstring mid-race in the 400 meters semi-final. Despite his pain, Redmond continued to limp his way to the finish. His father ran into the track to assist him and both completed the lap as the crowd stood up and cheered from the stands.

3. The Jamaican bobsled team swiftly rose to fame as the ultimate underdogs at the 1988 winter games in Calgary and went on to even inspire the major motion picture 'Cool Runnings', starring John Candy. The team, having never competed in a cold weather sport before, had to borrow spare sleds from other countries in order to compete. Despite some impressively fast starts, thanks to their excellent sprinting skills, the team lost control of their sled and crashed during one of their runs. Despite the crash, they famously picked up their sled and walked to the finish line to raucous applause from spectators.

2. Having won multiple gold medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, diver, Greg Louganis, was a favorite to win again at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. However, while performing a reverse two and a half pike, Louganis hit his head on the springboard, with stunned crowds helplessly watching on as the athlete crashed into the pool. Despite his accident, and suffering a concussion, Louganis recovered and completed his dive again, to near perfect scores and earning himself yet another gold medal.

1. The U.S. women's gymnastics team had never before won an Olympics medal. Now they were within reach when Kerri Strug had to score high in the vault. She did the first move flawlessly, but broke her ankle on the landing and fell. Then, on the second required vault, despite the pain, she landed perfectly. The U.S. team won the gold medal, and the injured Kerri was triumphantly carried to the winners' stand by the team coach.

As the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games begin on July 27, 2012, be prepared to see more outstanding and awe-striking performances by some of the best athletes in the world. Don't miss even a second, for you may miss a once-in-a-lifetime moment that could be remembered for years on end.

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