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Thread: Favorite Olympians of all time- Summer and Winter

  1. #16
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    From past summer Olympics I don´t remember possible favourite Olympians, unfortunately their memory has faded away. But of course I do remember lots of Olympic champions and these were my very special favourites of all time:

    Lasse Viren
    Sebastian Coe
    Carl Lewis
    Livio Berruti
    Mark Spitz
    Alexander Popov

  2. #17
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    Jaana, if you want to think about Finnish athletes, I would add Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen to your list. She was an absolutely phenomenal cross-country skier. She won everything in sight in 1984 (I just looked her up to be sure) and then some more in 1988 and even more in 1994. And of course there's the original Flying Finn, runner Paavo Nurmi, who won medals from 1920 to 1928.

    I agree with you that Sebastian Coe belongs on any list of track and field Olympian greats. We in the U.S. missed out on his best Olympics, because we boycotted in 1980. But he won again in 1984. He's been very active in setting up this London Olympics, so he's obviously still contributing to the Olympic movement.

    Golly, our list is getting long. And it needs to be longer! Lots of great athletes in the past century or more.

    And let me add Ludmilla Tourischeva, the Soviet gymnast who won the all-around in 1972. She was overshadowed by Olga Korbut, but she had longevity that Korbut wasn't able to sustain. She was on the gold-medal-winning U.S.S.R team in 1968, won the all-around gold and shared the team gold in 1972, and again shared the team gold in 1976 (while Nadia Comaneci won the all-around). She was the "good Soviet," quiet and poised, with that classically graceful style that they patented. It was her bad fortune that gymnastics changed right on her watch, so that the daring little sprites became the standard. But she still has a splendid record and is one of the last top gymnasts to have a long Olympic career. (Comaneci maintained her high level into the 1980 Moscow Olympics.) With few exceptions, conditions today don't really favor maturity in gymnastics performance on the ladies' side, so it's doubtful that Tourischeva's career achievements will ever be duplicated.

    Okay...another one. Only partly due to his Olympic achievements, I'd like to bring forward the name of Billy Fiske. He was a bobsled champion in 1928 and 1932 (the first Lake Placid Olympics). He was also an early volunteer pilot who went to England (before America joined the war) to help in the Battle of Britain in 1940. He was shot down, one of the first Americans to die in action. On TV they're currently doing a program on London during World War II. What a stirring story, both about Fiske and the whole of British resistance.
    Last edited by Olympia; 08-11-2012 at 07:29 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Jaana, if you want to think about Finnish athletes, I would add Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen to your list. She was an absolutely phenomenal cross-country skier. She won everything in sight in 1984 (I just looked her up to be sure) and then some more in 1988 and even more in 1994. And of course there's the original Flying Finn, runner Paavo Nurmi, who won medals from 1920 to 1928.
    I chose to post about Summer Olympics only, otherwise Marja-Liisa would have been on my list. I also chose to I put only such athletes on the list which I have seen competing on tv.
    Last edited by Jaana; 08-13-2012 at 12:42 PM.

  4. #19
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    That makes complete sense, Jaana. But I get so greedy when we make lists like this that I just want to put everyone on them! So though you were more organized in your thinking than I, I hope you don't mind my bringing in the others. I'd end up with virtually the entire roster from all the Olympics if not forcibly restrained.

  5. #20
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    I just watched this over at Blazing Blades and even though I don't have a list of favorites- if I did she would be on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmG6W0JCgpU

    I miss this style of lovely skating where the gliding and joy for skating are so apparent.
    It seems every movement has a special meaning and just flows so gracefully.
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-13-2012 at 05:46 PM.

  6. #21
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    Oh, Janetfan, I haven't seen that in years. How lovely.

    Even her dress was special, with that sophisticated panel across the front, and I love her shorter hair from those years.

    You're right; she is using the music, the ice, the air itself to make something unique and beautiful. I have never regretted keeping her at the top of my forever list, along with Kurt Browning.

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