Top 5 Tuesday (Sports)

Featured Podcasts

Political Rundown

In the News

Top 5 U.S. Summer Olympians of All Time

Top 5 U.S. Summer Olympians of All Time

#5 Greg Louganis - Diving

Credit: Sports Illustrated

 

• Olympic Games: 1976, 1984, 1988

• Gold: 4
• Silver: 1

Louganis is the only male diver to sweep the springboard and platform diving events in consecutive Olympics. 

Most impressive, Louganis recovered from a devastating head injury in prelims (when he hit that back of his head while performing a dive on the springboard) to win gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

#4 Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Track & Field

Credit: Neil Leifer

 

• Olympic Games: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996

• Gold: 3
• Silver: 1
• Bronce: 2

If not for Carl Lewis and the legend (Jesse Owens), Kersee would be considered the second greatest U.S. summer olympian. Competing in the heptathlon means Joyner-Kersee had to win or place in seven different events to win one medal. She did this twice (falling just five points short of gold in '84), and won gold in record fashion in 1988 setting a heptathlon record of 7,291 points, that still stands today. She is considered one of the greatest athletes to ever live. 

Her medal count could not match that of a swimmer because track & field athletes (especially heptathletes) do not compete in a requisite number of events to make a cross sport comparison reasonable.

 

#3 Jesse Owens - Track & Field

Credit: International Athletic Association/Jesse Owens Gala

 

• Olympic Games: 1936

• Gold: 4

In the face of unspeakable evil at home and in front of Hitler, Owens proved the 'Aryan dominance' propaganda pushed by the Nazis was nonsense.

Owens competed in four events, and left the games with four gold medals in the: 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump.

 

#2 Carl Lewis - Track & Field

 

• Olympic Games: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996

• Gold: 9
• Silver: 1

Lewis was known as the 'fastest man alive' for a decade. He successfully defended his 100m crown in '92, to win back-to-back gold medals. But, most impressive, Lewis won four consecutive gold medals in long jump.

Lewis is one of only three Olympians to ever win the same event four times (Phelps, and discus thrower Al Oerter the other two). 

 

#1 Michael Phelps - Swimming

Credit: Peter Bick/Swimming World Magazine

 

• Olympic Games: 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016

• Gold: 23
• Silver: 3
• Bronze: 2

G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)
Phelps should be known by this moniker, Goat, no matter what country he is in. With the exception of the 2000 games, Phelps set world records in every Olympics he competed. Even for non swimming fans, watching Phelps swim the butterfly stroke was magical. 

No lead was safe when Phelps was in the water, and spectators ate up every ounce of the drama he created. 

 

Honorable Mention

 

Mark Spitz - Swimming

Olympic Games: 1968, 1972

• Gold: 9
• Silver: 1
• Bronze: 1

Top 5 Summer Olympians

Top 5 Summer Olympians

Ole Miss Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns

Ole Miss Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns