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Performances Of A Lifetime At The Olympics


LA84

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So many people go to The Olympics as the favorite and end up having a horrible showing (Helloooooooo - Bode <_< ). But what about those who were supposed to have subpar performances and ended up medaling? Post your favs from the WOG and SOG's: B)

My favorites:

WOG - Elizabeth Manley, 1988. Up to that point one of the worst figure skaters to come out of Canada. So bad that her hair was falling out over stress as early as two years prior. Weight problems, etc. The Canadian Figure Skating Association actually asked her not to continue. But in Calgary, she was flawless - winning the silver, knocking "The Battle of the Carmen's" off the radar screen, becoming North America's sweetheart and had the school figures not existed then (which were dispensed with in 1992), would have won gold. I remember sitting on the couch that evening, my mouth wide open thinking, This is Elizabeth Manley??????

Elizabeth Manley in Calgary

(Honorable mention - Team USA, 1980)

SOG - Billy Mills, 1964. Ron Clarke, the Aussie who lit the cauldron in Melbourne '56 and I believe most recently at the 2006 Commonwealth Games (?), probably the best long distance runner ever IMHO was expected to walk away with the gold. But in the final turn of the 10,000m, Billy Mills pulled out a sprint that is unequaled and won the gold:

(Honorable Mention - Voula Patoulidou, 1992)

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Paul Wiley in Albertville. The kid delivered. He nailed every turn and every jump. If Petrenko hadn't had 1 or 2 more axles or flutzes, the Gold would've been Wiley's. And the boy's stayed humble ever since, too. Plus going for his medical degree in Harvard (I think); and doing some good commentating on some of the nationals and international comps.

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Paul Wiley in Albertville. The kid delivered. He nailed every turn and every jump. If Petrenko hadn't had 1 or 2 more axles or flutzes, the Gold would've been Wiley's. And the boy's stayed humble ever since, too. Plus going for his medical degree in Harvard (I think); and doing some good commentating on some of the nationals and international comps.

Ahhhhh yes. Paul Wylie's performance at Albertville. I put him about 3 on my list. Phenominal.

This, however, I put #1 in my "Special Olympic" moments category that I just now created:

Paul Wylie/Nancy Kerrigan's Performance with their "Training Partner"

Petrenko and Oksana tried this 2 years later - didn't work B)

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I've gotta say Kieren Perkins at Atlanta 96. After winning the 1500m at Barcelona, he was our best medal hope over the next four years, but then in the lead up to the Atlanta Games fell out of form.

By the time of Atlanta, his Aussie rival Daniel Kowalski had become favourite, and sure enough Perkins barely scraped into the final (later it turned out he was unwell). Come the race, though, and swimming from lane 8, he surprised everyone and blitzed the field to claim his second gold in the event. One of the great moments of Aussie Olympic history!

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Summer games: Lori-Ann Muenzer in the Women's Track Cycling sprint. She had a couple of world cup/world championchips medals but she wase geting older and nobody (including herself) taught she would win gold (aspecialy since she did not even have a front well for her bike...)

Winter games: Simon Ammann in Ski Jumping (normal and large hill), one of the biguest shocker in WOG history...

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I suppose Kelly Holmes is a British example of someone who nobody really expected much from and yet she finished Athens with two gold medals - she had always been either the nearly girl or just suffering from an injury and not participating at all, plus she was in her mid-30's. Kelly Holmes provided some compensation as everyone seemed to expect a guaranteed gold from world record holder Paula Radcliffe in the marathon, but of course that one didn't happen!

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Yvonne van Gennip won three golds at the Calgary Olympics in speedskating. She underwent surgery on her foot less then 2 months before the games and nobody expected her to do well. The doped up East-Germans were expected to win easily.

However, Van Gennip quite shockingly smashed the world record by almost 5 seconds to win the 3,000 metres, beat her personal record by almost 4 seconds to win the 1,500 metres, and was almost 7 seconds faster than her own world record time to win the 5,000 metres as well. She competed while having a small crack in her wrist, she didn't tell the press until years after the games so they wouldn't constantly bother her about it.

She never really won anyting before or after that. For instance, she competed in Sarajevo and Albertville without winning a single medal.

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Quintana, speaking of long-track speed skating, how about Cindy Klassen of Canada? Before Torino 2006, the thought of a Canadian winning more than 2 Olympic medals in a single Games was like winning one of those American "Powerball" lottery jackpots by yourself.

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Quintana, speaking of long-track speed skating, how about Cindy Klassen of Canada? Before Torino 2006, the thought of a Canadian winning more than 2 Olympic medals in a single Games was like winning one of those American "Powerball" lottery jackpots by yourself.

Let's see how successful Klassen is in Vancouver. I'm really anticipating her performance there. Maybe she will have 5 gold medals that time around.

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I actually expected Klassen to win the 1500 and 3000 meters (she was the hot favourite for both distances going into the games being world record holder) meters so I was surprised she "only" won bronze at the 3000. However, winning medals at every event you enter is clearly world class.

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Uhmm, OK, folks. Pretty soon, this thread will reach 20 pages. It's supposed to be only like 6 REALLY Lifetime Performances at the Games. Most of you have oveshot your quota.

Anyone posted hereafer is NO longer a Lifetime-Shattering performance!!

Whose lifetimes? You could take it to mean during an athlete's competitive life.

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