Category: Olympics

The Inspirational Stories of Olympic Athletes: Overcoming Adversity

The Olympic Games are when the best athletes in the world have the opportunity to showcase their talents to see who the most elite really is. Not only that, but they do it in front of an audience of hundreds of millions of people. Throughout the history of the Olympics, there have been some athletes who have had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to the top.

Let’s take a look at five stories of inspirational Olympic athletes who had adversity thrown at them, only to come out on the other side with a gold medal.

Betty Robinson

A native of Riverdale, Illinois, Betty Robinson found out that she was fast when a teacher saw her trying to catch a train home from school. During her teenage years, Robinson started competing against the best in the world and it was clear that she had what it took to be the fastest. After winning gold at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Robinson suffered a major setback after being involved in a plane crash.

Thankfully, Robinson survived, but it was going to be a long road back. Robinson couldn’t get into the right position for a 100-meter race due to injuries but was able to train for relay races. After missing the 1932 Olympics, Robinson returned for the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany. Along with the rest of her team, Robinson was able to claim the gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay. Robinson returned to normal life afterward, living until the end of the 1990s.

Kerri Strug

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia ended up having a ton of memorable moments, especially in the gymnastics competition. The host Americans sent the team known as the Magnificient Seven, which included Tucson, Arizona native Kerri Strug. Strug had competed at the previous Olympics and was part of the bronze medal-winning team in Barcelona. Anything less than gold in 1996, though, would be seen as a failure.

Strug started training in gymnastics when she was just three years old and had struggled with a stomach injury and weight loss that almost knocked her out of competition. Thankfully, Strug was able to get back into form, but she suffered a serious ankle injury during the 1996 games. Still, Strug landed perfectly during her performance and held firm, being carried off by coach Bela Karolyi after sealing the gold.

Max Parrot

It took a long time for snowboarding to be included in the Winter Olympics, and there were many elite athletes ready to make their mark when the sport was introduced. Among them was Max Parrot, who started training in the sport before his 10th birthday. Parrot then went on to become one of the greatest snowboarders in the world, winning medals at the X Games. However, in 2019, Parrot received some hard news.

Parrot was diagnosed with cancer in early 2019, just months after winning a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. He had to undergo chemotherapy, and despite feeling physically overwhelmed, Parrot continued training for the 2022 games. With the crowd in Beijing looking on, Parrot was able to win his first gold medal in the slopestyle competition. “You have no cardio, you have no energy, you have no muscles,” Parrot said of his recovery, adding that being on the podium “feels amazing.”

Gail Devers

Gail Devers is perhaps the ultimate testament to peak athleticism shining through despite a myriad of health problems. The Seattle, Washington native was a standout athlete in her hometown and earned herself a scholarship to UCLA where she began training for the 1988 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, Devers began suffering from health problems.

Devers had migraine headaches and lost some of her vision, leading to a Graves disease diagnosis. She had to undergo hormone therapy and radiation treatment while also developing foot ailments that set her back even further. Still, Devers was able to continue training for the Olympics and qualified for the 1992 Barcelona Games. While there, she claimed the gold medal in the 100 meter sprint.

Abebe Bikila

When you think of runners these days, you probably picture them wearing the most state-of-the-art sneakers. Even in the 1960s, shoe technology had come a long way and the best athletes were wearing the best shoes. That wasn’t the case for Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia, however. Instead, he ran barefoot all the way to Olympic gold.

For his second Olympic run, though, Bikila did wear shoes, which may have explained why his time improve so much. Not only that, but Bikila set the new world marathon record in both of his Olympic runs. Bikila went on to become an icon, helping to boost interest in distance running throughout all of Africa.

The Most Memorable Moments in Olympic History: Celebrating Legendary Athletic Performances

The Olympics are the showcase for the best athletes in the world at the time to prove their skills in a wide range of sports. While there are some competitions that are often ignored by most people, there are some that have made amateur athletes into superstars thanks to their memorable performances. Let’s take a look at the history of the Olympics, highlighting the most memorable moments from individuals and teams who ended up capturing gold.

Jesse Owens Stuns Berlin

The world was coming to a boiling point during the mid-1930s, especially with the rise of Nazi Germany and its leader Adolf Hitler. Berlin was set to host the 1936 Olympics, with Hitler using the games as a way of promoting his ideals. His plan would backfire during the track and field events, especially when it came to the track competition and Jesse Owens dominating the competition.

Owens won a gold medal in the long jump and 4x100m relay, but the most talked about moments came from the 200m and 100m sprints. Owens would win both events, and the image of him at the top of the podium saluting the American flag remains one of the most iconic photos in sports history. Hitler even went as far as to try and ban people of African descent from the Olympics, but fortunately failed in his efforts.

Miracle On Ice

There’s only one entrant on the list from the Winter Olympics and it’s still the most memorable moment in the games’ history. In the 1980 edition of the Winter Olympics, the Soviet Union was the heavy favorite in the ice hockey tournament. After all, the Soviets were sending professional players that were considered world-class while most other countries were sending amateur players.

The United States, which hosted the tournament, was among the countries sending amateurs. In the medal round, the two countries would face off. After the first period, the teams had each scored a pair of goals. The Soviets netted the only goal of the second period, but the Americans rebounded with two goals late in the game to give them the massive 4-3 upset victory. The United States went on to win the gold to defeat Finland in its final game.

Flo-Jo Makes Headlines

Florence Griffith Joyner was one of the most celebrated Olympians ever thanks to her fantastic performance at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Known affectionately as Flo-Jo to her fans around the world, Griffith Joyner smashed records on her way to the Olympics. She claimed gold in the 4x100m relay while also winning the 200m and 100m sprints like Jesse Owens did in 1936.

Flo-Jo was on the cover of every magazine and Wheaties box throughout the United States, becoming an ambassador for sports in the United States. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Griffith Joyner as the Co-chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Unfortunately, Griffith Joyner passed away in 1998 at just 38 years old after suffering an epileptic seizure.

Usain Bolt Steals The Show

People are fascinated by the fastest things in the world, whether they be cars, planes, animals, or humans. We’ve already pointed out just how much the world was captivated by the blinding speed of Jesse Owens and Florence Griffith Joyner, but Usain Bolt may have surpassed both of them in terms of popularity. The Jamaican sprinter burst onto the scene at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Bolt claimed the gold medal in both the 100m and 200m races, setting expectations just as high for the subsequent Olympics. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Bolt tied the individual record for gold medals in running-only events with his eighth. Bolt won his third-consecutive golds in the 100m and 200m races while also winning his second 4x100m relay gold medal. Every medal that Bolt won in his Olympic career was gold.

Michael Phelps Sets New Record

The amount of gold medals that Bolt has is nothing compared to the amount of American swimmer Michael Phelps. The previous record for most gold medals by an Olympian was nine, with Larisa Latynina, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis all holding that record. However, Phelps smashed the record and finished his Olympic career with twenty-three gold medals.

Phelps won gold medals in four consecutive Olympics, but the 2008 Summer Games was when Phelps was at his best. In front of the Beijing crowd, Phelps won a whopping eight gold medals to give him the career record, including three in freestyle, three in medley, and two in butterfly. Phelps continued his dominance after the 2008 games, winning four golds in London and five in Rio de Janeiro.

The Dark Side of the Olympics: The Controversies, Scandals, and Political Impacts

The Olympics is one of the most celebrated sporting events in the world. It showcases the world’s greatest athletes competing against each other on a global stage. However, there is a darker side to the Olympics that is often overshadowed by the excitement and glamour of the event. The cost of hosting the Olympics, doping scandals, political boycotts, corruption, and bribery are just some of the issues that plague the event. Today, we’ll explore the controversies, scandals, and political impacts of the Olympics.

The Cost of Hosting the Olympics

Hosting the Olympics is expensive, and many countries have struggled to balance the cost with their national budgets. For example, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was the most expensive Olympic event of all time, costing an estimated $51 billion. The cost of hosting the Olympics often leads to controversy and criticism, with many questioning whether the money could be better spent on other programs, such as education and healthcare.

Another issue is the forced displacement of residents and the impact on local communities. To build the infrastructure for the Olympics, many people are forcibly removed from their homes and neighborhoods. This has a long-lasting impact on the local communities, with many residents struggling to rebuild their lives. The environmental impact of the Olympics is also a concern. Building new infrastructure, such as stadiums and parks, can have long-lasting effects on the environment, including deforestation, pollution, and soil erosion.

Doping and Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Doping has been an issue in the Olympics for decades. Athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs to gain an edge over their competitors, which has led to many controversies and scandals. Notable examples include Ben Johnson, who won the 100-meter dash at the Seoul 1988 Olympics but was later stripped of his medal after testing positive for steroids. Another example is Lance Armstrong, who won seven Tour de France titles but had them all stripped after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.

The role of anti-doping agencies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. While their efforts have been largely successful, new drugs and methods of cheating are constantly being developed.

Political Boycotts and Protests

Politics has played a major role in the Olympics, with countries using the event to make political statements. Boycotts have been used throughout the history of the Olympics as a form of political protest. The most famous example is the 1980 Moscow Olympics when the United States led a boycott of the event in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Protests are also a common occurrence during the Olympics. Athletes, spectators, and local residents often take to the streets to voice their concerns about the event. For example, during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in protest during the medal ceremony to bring attention to the civil rights movement in the United States.

Corruption and Bribery

Corruption and bribery have been ongoing issues within the Olympic organization. There have been numerous examples of this throughout the years, including the Salt Lake City scandal in 2002. In this scandal, Salt Lake City officials bribed members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for their vote to host the Winter Olympics.

The impact of corruption on the selection of host countries and events cannot be underestimated. In some cases, countries that are not suitable to host the event are awarded the rights due to bribery and corruption, leading to a negative impact on the local communities.

The Business of the Olympics: The Social and Economic Impact of Hosting the Games

The Olympic Games are the most significant international sports event, bringing together athletes, spectators, and countries from around the world every two years for a celebration of sportsmanship, competition, and unity. But beyond the excitement of the games themselves, there is a tremendous impact on the host countries, both socially and economically.

The Social Impact of Hosting the Olympics

First, let’s take a closer look at the social impact of hosting the Olympic Games. Naturally, hosting the games brings a sense of national pride to the host country. This pride can translate to an increase in tourism, promoting the host country and its athletes. The infrastructure around the host city and country often undergoes renovations, upgrades, and improvements. The construction, revitalization, and logistics preparations provide employment opportunities to residents, thereby stimulating economic growth.

However, the process of preparing for the games can result in the displacement of residents, potentially forever altering existing communities. The construction projects may include the building of new stadiums and arenas, transportation systems, and housing facilities. This development requires an enormous volume of raw materials, such as steel, concrete, and paving products, which may result in environmental concerns affecting the host city.

The Economic Impact of Hosting the Olympics

Now, let’s consider the economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games. The event offers significant short-term economic benefits, primarily through the creation of jobs in the local area for a relatively brief period. This includes the need for security personnel, event staff, and construction workers. The games may also increase revenue in the form of foreign investment and tourist spending, thereby stimulating the local economy.

However, the short-term economic advantages have to be weighed against the long-term consequences of hosting the Olympics. There are high initial investments required to prepare for the games, which often rely on government funding and private sponsorships. The cost of building and renovating necessary infrastructure is enormous, making it challenging to justify such expenditures for a single event. The required physical spaces are also frequently underutilized post-games, resulting in potential losses and waste of resources.

The Business of Hosting the Olympics

Now that we have understood the social and economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games, let’s look into the business side of things. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the governing body that selects the host cities, oversees the allocation of funds and resources, and sets strict guidelines for necessary preparations. Once selected, the host country takes full responsibility for planning, funding, and executing the games—all while balancing the social and economic impacts for their residents.

The monetary implications of hosting the games are vast. Governments must negotiate with IOC over expenses and cost-sharing. The funding for the construction of new facilities and improvements to infrastructure is often challenging to justify if a country lacks an efficient, supportive infrastructure. For example, the roads, transportation systems, and accessibility need to be well-coordinated to ease movement during the event.

Additionally, it is crucial to note that the city’s preparations have to coordinate with other stakeholders like businesses, local governments, and suppliers. The coordination processes, however, as well-planned and executed as they may be, are not without flaws of delays, poor project management, and scandals. These delays, coupled with financial constraints, have contributed in the past to games that were delayed or poorly executed, affecting the entire Olympic brand image.

Secrets Behind Successful Olympians: A Look at Olympic Training and Discipline

The Olympics is one of the most prestigious and widely anticipated sporting events in the world. It brings together the best athletes from across the globe to compete against one another in a wide range of sports, from swimming and athletics to gymnastics and wrestling. To succeed in the Olympics, athletes need to possess a combination of physical prowess, mental toughness, and disciplined training. In this article, we will take a closer look at the secrets behind successful Olympians and explore the training methods and disciplines that they use to achieve their goals.

Mental and Physical Training

One of the most important aspects of Olympic training is mental and physical preparation. Athletes need to be physically fit and mentally tough to compete at the highest level. Olympic training regimes are designed to help athletes develop their strength, speed, endurance, and agility. At the same time, athletes also need to focus on mental preparation, which involves techniques such as visualization, meditation, and positive self-talk. By focusing on both physical and mental preparation, athletes can develop a competitive edge and perform at their best during competitions.


Discipline is another essential element of successful Olympic training. To achieve their goals, athletes need to be disciplined in their training regimes, diet, and rest and recovery routines. Discipline means adhering to a strict schedule and putting in the necessary effort and time required to achieve success. It also means being accountable for one’s actions and taking responsibility for one’s performance. Without discipline, athletes cannot achieve their full potential, and success in the Olympics will remain elusive.


Nutrition is another crucial factor that affects an athlete’s performance in the Olympics. Olympic athletes follow strict diets and nutritional plans to ensure that their bodies are getting the right nutrients and fuel they need to perform at their best. A balanced diet, consisting of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals, is essential to help athletes maintain their energy levels and prevent injuries. Discipline is also critical in maintaining a strict nutrition plan, as it requires avoiding unhealthy foods and sticking to a strict eating schedule.

Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are often overlooked in the pursuit of athletic excellence, but they are critical to achieving success in the Olympics. Athletes need to get enough rest and recovery time to allow their bodies to heal and regenerate after intense training sessions. This includes getting enough sleep, taking rest days, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as massages, yoga, and meditation. Discipline is essential in prioritizing rest and recovery, as athletes must resist the temptation to overtrain and push their bodies beyond their limits.


Goal-setting is another essential element of successful Olympic training. Olympic athletes set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to help them focus on what they need to achieve to succeed. This involves breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones and tracking progress along the way. Goal-setting helps athletes stay motivated and focused on their objectives, and it provides a framework for planning and executing their training regimes. Discipline is crucial in staying focused on goals and putting in the necessary effort and time required to achieve them.


Finally, mindset is another crucial factor that affects an athlete’s performance in the Olympics. Olympic athletes use specific mindset techniques, such as visualization, positive self-talk, and mental toughness training, to help them stay focused, motivated, and confident. These techniques help athletes overcome negative thoughts and distractions, stay calm under pressure, and maintain their concentration during competitions. Discipline is critical in maintaining a positive and focused mindset, as athletes must work hard to cultivate a winning mentality and avoid negative self-talk and distractions.

5 Abandoned Olympic Venues Perfect For Olympic Explorers

Urban exploration and abandoned buildings go hand in hand, and there are no better-abandoned places quite like sporting venues. While places like the United States tend to demolish or repurpose sporting venues, many other countries leave their venues to be taken back by nature. This is especially true for the Olympics, which have a lot of niche sports in countries that don’t excel in them.

For every Los Angeles, California there’s an Athens, Greece that doesn’t take full advantage of the venues that were built. If you’re an urban explorer and want to see some great abandoned Olympic venues, check out these five cities around the world.

1. Sarajevo, Bosnia

The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina was awarded the 1984 Winter Olympics, and at the time, put on a masterclass on how to hold an event. Things went great for the Olympics, but the venues wouldn’t hold up for very long. That’s because the Bosnian War broke out less than a decade later, lasting for over three years.

The country became torn by the war, and the venues that were still standing from the Olympics were mostly destroyed, while others were left standing and simply abandoned. The ski jump area serves as a monument to what was once a great moment in time for Bosnia while the bobsled track has been graffitied multiple times over.

2. Athens, Greece

The 2004 Summer Olympics were a big deal for the games as they returned to Athens, Greece, the home of the Olympiad. To get the city ready for the Olympics, Athens built several new venues and went into tremendous debt so that everything was sparkling and brand new. While some of the venues are still being used, there were many that were left abandoned.

Some of the areas that have been completely abandoned include the softball stadium, field hockey center, and canoe/kayak venue where it’s hard to tell what events even took place there. The economic situation in Greece following the Olympics caused many of these venues to fall into shambles.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro became a surprise choice for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the country of Brazil quickly had to construct several new venues that included a 16,000 seat basketball arena and even a golf course. Many temporary venues were also erected, but many were left to the elements just a few months after the Olympic closing ceremonies.

The Olympic Aquatics Stadium looked like it had been abandoned for years by the time 2017 came around with the lights turned out and the pool drained. The beach volleyball stadium became overgrown with seats quickly collapsing. Brazil also hosted the World Cup for soccer around the same time and had similar problems with maintaining venues.

4. Beijing, China

China had a huge coming out party to the world when the country was chosen to host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The city was awarded the games in 2001, giving them plenty of time to build new venues. It cost almost $2 billion for China to construct the venues, some of which are still in use.

Beijing, which also hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics, left many of its summer venues behind, especially the beach volleyball stadium. While the interior seats are still fine, the field is overgrown and the exterior is covered in layers of grime. Some of the venues have been totally reclaimed by nature after being blocked off to the public and never reopened.

5. Berlin, Germany

In 1936, Germany hosted the Summer Olympics in what then-leader Adolf Hitler considered to be a showcase of Nazism. The venues for the most part were at least partially destroyed as World War II followed shortly after the Olympics, especially the Olympic Village. 

The standing venues have been mostly abandoned and serve as a harsh reminder for the German people. Venues like the swimming center and Village are worn down while Olympiastadion is still standing and frequently used after undergoing several renovations.