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Atlanta, 1996: Games turn 100 with Ali

Atlanta, 1996: Games turn 100 with Ali
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Despite his struggles with Parkinson’s disease, former heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Games. It was an emotional start to the Olympics’ Centennial.

Sydney, 2000: North and South Korea unite

Sydney, 2000: North and South Korea unite
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In a short-lived moment of alliance, North and South Korea marched together for the first time in Sydney’s opening ceremony. Rather than carry their respective national flags, the North and South Korean teams (in identical uniforms) joined hands and waved a unification flag featuring a blue map of Korea.

Athens, 2004: Medal design corrected

Athens, 2004: Medal design corrected
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A new medal was distributed to winners at the Athens Games, replacing the long-standing design by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Cassioli that incorrectly depicted the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue. Olympic medals now feature the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, one of the world’s oldest stadiums and the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

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Beijing, 2008: Phelps takes most gold ever

Beijing, 2008: Phelps takes most gold ever
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During the Beijing Games, champion American swimmer Michael Phelps and his teammates set a new world record in the medley relay event, awarding Phelps his eighth gold medal (the most won in a single Olympic Games) and pushing his medal count over that of his record-holding predecessor, Mark Spitz. Upon winning his eighth medal, Phelps had nothing but humble words for his audience: “Records are meant to be broken no matter what they are.”

Tokyo, 2020: COVID-19 delays 2020 games

Tokyo, 2020: COVID-19 delays 2020 games
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As the COVID-19 pandemic raged throughout the entire world in 2020, it became apparent that the Olympic Games were going to be yet another casualty. The deadly virus meant it wasn’t safe to see loved ones, let alone hold a massive international competition. On March 24, 2020, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the postponement of the Games. Though the Games weren’t outright cancelled – which hasn’t happened since 1944 – the games were delayed until July 23, 2021 – with a question mark over whether they would still continue. Still officially called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the games are being held without spectators.

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Source: RD.com

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