These athletes went above and beyond to do the right thing
Too often these days, fans and athletes alike focus on the negative side of sports, whether it's a fight that breaks out on the field or trash talk off the field. Still, there are many instances of athletes taking the high road and doing the right thing. Here are five perfect examples of athletes showing us what sportsmanship is all about.
The 2012 Olympics in London has come and gone. The Games brought forth excitement, heartbreak and a lot of firsts—from record-breaking times to amazing feats of longevity. Here's a look back at our favorite firsts from these memorable Summer Games.
Usain Bolt continued his unprecedented dominance of the Games' glamour events, the sprints, becoming the first sprinter to earn a “double-double” — back-to-back golds in both the 100m and 200m sprints.
Female Fists of Fury
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Women's Boxing was a medal sport for the first time at these Games. 17-year-old Claressa Shields was the American headliner, as the Flint, Mich., native earned gold for the U.S.
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Oscar Pistorius didn’t even have to make an Olympic final to make history. Named one of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Pistorius made history as the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic games. Overcoming his disability to run with some of the world’s fastest men, the South African native reached the semi-final of the men’s 400m. His participation should mark a watershed moment in parathlete history, since it proved to the world that a disabled athlete can and should be taken seriously.
Rewriting the Record Books
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104 Olympic records and 38 world records were broken at these Games in Archery, Track and Field, Swimming (including Missy Franklin's world record in the 200m backstroke), Cycling, Weightlifting, Shooting and Rowing. The Rowing world record was set in Men's Coxless Pair. Not sure about this, but the name has to discourage participation in the event, don’t you think?
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Women made history at these Games. For the first time, every competing nation had female team members.
Golden Girl Gabby
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Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win all around gymnastics gold.
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Skeet and double trap shooter Kim Rhode became the only American competitor to win medals for an individual event in five consecutive Olympics. In London, Rhode tied the world record with a score of 99 out of 100 in skeet shooting.
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Kayla Harrison became the first American ever to win a judo medal, taking gold in the 78 kg division. Harrison was one of the most compelling stories of these games, having overcome a history of sexual abuse by a former coach.
McKayla: Not Impressed
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First Olympic Meme — McKayla Maroney is not impressed. This is the first Olympics to operate under the dominance of the Twitter and Instagram age of social media, so McKayla gets the honor of first true Olympic meme. For the uninitiated, a meme is any sort of viral concept that spreads via the Internet. Her sour expression upon receiving her silver medal in the vault was added via Photoshop to all sorts of images, from the moon landing to the Sistine Chapel.
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Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, earning four gold and two silver medals for a mind-boggling career total of 22 medals, 18 of them gold.
What to watch for when Brazil and Mexico go for gold (and goal) at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
1. The match is Saturday at 10 a.m. EST at Wembley Stadium
There will be no need for NBC to tape delay the Gold Medal Match. Brazil and Mexico kick off on a Saturday at a reasonable hour stateside. “The Venue of Legends” hosts one of the more anticipated events of the London Olympics. Wembley Stadium is the second largest stadium in Europe, with a 90,000 seating capacity.
2. These are Under-23 National Teams with three age exemptions