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Olympic memories - inspiring moments


There is nothing quite like the Olympic Games for delivering tear-jerking moments, given the amount of preparation, the quality of the opposition and the eyes of the world watching the athletes' every step.

We've selected a handful that perfectly capture the spirit of sport's greatest spectacle, and we expect to add a few more from the London Olympics when we look ahead to Rio 2016.

1. Derek Redmond (Barcelona 1992)

A favourite for a medal in the men's 400m, Redmond's old injury came back to haunt him in the semifinals as he pulled up with a hamstring injury on the back straight.

What was to follow, though, is one of the most enduring scenes of the Olympics, and one that will live in the memory for as long as the Games continue.

2. Greg Louganis (Seoul 1988)

On his ninth dive of the 1988 preliminary round for springboard, Greg Louganis hit his head on the board and fell into the water. He got temporary stitches before completing his 10th dive, which earned the highest score awarded in the preliminaries. The next day he won gold.

3. Kerri Strug (Atlanta 1996)

In the 1996 women's gymnastics team competition, little-known Kerri Strug injured her left ankle on her first vault but gamely attempted a second and stuck the landing to ensure the American women got their first team gold. After her second vault Strug collapsed in pain. At the medal ceremony, legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi carried Strug up to the podium to be with her teammates, an image that quickly became iconic.

4. Muhammad Ali (1996)

One of the most touching moments of the Atlanta Olympic Games came at the Opening Ceremony when boxing legend Muhammad Ali, trembling from Parkinson's disease, lit the cauldron to open the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Ali received a gold medal to replace the one he tossed into a river after being refused service at a whites-only restaurant.

5. Deratu Tulu/Elana Meyer (Barcelona 1992)

The Barcelona Olympics Perhaps the most single dramatic event of the Barcelona 1992 Games was the 10,000m women's final. The event was dominated by white South African runner, Elana Meyer (right) who broke early leaving the whole field trailing. However, the Black Ethiopian runner, Derartu Tulu caught up and tailed Meyer for eight laps before finally sprinting past to take the gold medal. Since 1960 South Africa had been banned from the Olympics over apartheid. However in their moment of glory Meyer and Tulu set off on a joint victory lap.

6. Lawrence Lemieux (Seoul 1988)

At the 1988 Seoul Games Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux sacrificed a medal chance in the Dinghy class. Sitting in second place through the fifth of seven races, the sailor noticed that the boat of rivals Joseph Chan and Shaw Her Siew of Singapore had capsized. Lemieux immediately turned around to rescue the pair, costing him an opportunity to earn a medal. For his act of bravery, Lemieux was awarded an honorary second place position and the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship by then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.

7. Eric the Eel (Sydney 2000)

Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea won the hearts of the Sydney crowd in the heats of the 100m freestyle. The swimmer gained entry to the Olympics without meeting the minimum qualification requirements via a wildcard draw designed to encourage developing countries.

After the other two swimmers false-started, Moussambani won his heat in 1:52.72.

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