The countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is on. And as Brazil prepares to host the greatest athletes in the world, participating in 306 different events, it’s time for the rest of us to prepare our hearts and minds for the greatness to come.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will air on Friday, August 5, on NBC, with actual competition beginning on August 3. NBC has promised to air an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming during the 19 days of competition. Clear your DVRs.
8 Olympic Moments to Watch on Repeat Before Rio 2016:
1. Kerri Strug’s Vault
I’ve twisted my ankle walking across a parking lot. To watch an athlete incur an injury like this, still stick the landing and then get carried off by her coach is what the Olympics are all about.
2. Michael Johnson’s Gold Shoes
Sure, in 1996, Michael Johnson became the only man in history to win the 200m and the 400m gold medals at a single Olympics– setting a record in both events, but those shoes! I remember those shoes.
3. The Dream Team
The Dream Team was an insane assemblage of talent. The most insane part? Other countries asking the Dream Team for autographs after games.
4. Derek Redmond and His Dad
Sometimes, when things are hard and I don’t want to call my dad and ask for help because I’m an adult I watch this video of Derek Redmond at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Redmond, a sprinter from Great Britain went down about mid-way through his 400m race. Determined to finish he got up and hobbled along for about 30 meters before a man, his father, rushes the track and helps get him to the finish line.
Officials tried to stop Derek’s dad from helping him, but when a dad wants to help, a dad wants to help.
I’ve watched this video probably 300 times in my life. The lump in my throat happens at the exact same moment every single time. What a moment. What a dad.
5. Mary Lou Retton Wins Gold
Talk about a perfect 10! After completing the best vault of her life, Retton became the first American to win a gold medal in gymnastics.
6. Greg Louganis Completes the “Dive of Death”
After hitting his head on the diving board during the pre-lims, Louganis, with stitches in his head, completed a reverse 3 ½ somersault in the tuck position and took home the gold medal during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
7. Carl Lewis Wins Four Gold Medals
Some of the most talented and accomplished athletes on earth have never won a gold medal, much less four in one games like Lewis. Taking home gold in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100m relay, Lewis matched Jesse Owen’s historic feat of the 1936 Olympics.
8. Michael Phelps’ Historic Wall Touch
Phelps, by just one one-hundredth of a second took home gold in the 100m butterfly during the 2008 Olympics. It was his seventh of games, which tied Mark Spitz’s record from the 1972 games. Phelps went on to collect his eighth medal and the record for individual gold medals just a few nights later.