The Olympic Games is where the best athletes in the world come together to battle for supremacy and take home a gold medal. It pits elite athletes against each other, and anyone who even makes it to the Summer Games has already achieved so much.
Getting to the Olympics isn’t enough for most athletes though, and they’re out to get gold and break records. There have been some amazing performances at the Olympics over the 123 years they’ve been held. These are the Olympic records that might never be broken again.
Bob Beamon’s epic long jump – 1968 Mexico City
Humans were only supposed to jump so far, that was until Bob Beamon came along. At the 1968 Olympics Beamon jumped an amazing 29 feet and 2 ½ inches, which became a new Olympic record. Fifty years later and that is still the Olympic record, though someone has jumped farther than that in another competition.
Beamon jumped so far that the measuring equipment at the Mexico City games didn’t reach that far. After the jump, Beamon looked stunned, but he knew before they found a way to measure his jump that it was long.
A perfect 10 – 1976 Montreal
Before Nadia Comaneci began her now famous routine, the Olympics had never seen a perfect routine. No one was expecting it at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal because whenever Comaneci finally ended her perfect routine, the scoreboards were unable to display it.
The gymnast had scored 10.00 from all the judges, and because no one had ever done it before, the equipment to display it couldn’t handle it. Not only did the Romanian gymnast break the world record for her routine, but she did it a total of six times, earning her three gold medals. You can’t get better than perfect, so there is no way anyone can beat Comaneci’s score, they can only tie with it.
Scooping 239 medals – 1904 St. Louis
The U.S. has always been a big nation at the Olympics, and it sits at the top of the all-time medal table with 2,522. It has almost 1,000 more than the next best team, a combination of the Soviet Union and Russia. At the 1904 Olympics, Team USA won more medals in one games than most countries have managed in their existence.
The games were held on home soil for the Americans, and that brought the record-breaking haul of 239 medals. They broke down as 78 golds, 82 silvers, and 79 bronze. Few countries have even come close to that number of medals at any Olympics since, and the closest was the Soviet Union in 1980 with 195.
Those Soviet Union games were boycotted by half of the world’s nations though, which weighted the results in the Soviet’s favor. There is unlikely to ever be another total domination of an Olympic Games like this again.
Chinese dominance – All Olympics
If you follow the Olympic Games every year, you’ll probably have noticed that the Chinese are pretty good at table tennis. China is light years ahead of anyone else in the all-time table tennis medal rankings with 53. Their closest competitor is South Korea on 18, but the gap is only likely to get bigger as China leads the way in this Olympic sport.
Evergreen Ian Millar – 10 Games
We know that the Olympics pits the strongest, fastest, and fittest against each other, but some sports are all about using your brain. Ian Millar has broken an Olympic record by appearing at 10 Summer Games, and he would have made it 11 in 2016 but for an injury. It wasn’t Millar who got injured however, it was his horse.
Millar first made an appearance doing equestrian sports at the 1972 Olympics in Berlin, and his final outing came in 2012 at London. His horse required surgery during the 2016 Rio games otherwise Millar would have been further ahead of the competition. Millar’s nearest rivals are just one appearance behind him, but are unlikely to make another Olympic appearance.
Florence Griffith-Joyner’s dash records – 1988 Seoul
Florence Griffith-Joyner broke the Olympic record in 1988 by running the 100m in 10.62 seconds. The record that she set in Seoul in 1988 has stood the test of time and while other women have run faster, none have done it at the Olympics. Griffith-Joyner had to deal with the pressure of performing at the Olympics, and she made it look easy by smashing the competition.
Since then, her record hasn’t been under serious threat, but Griffith-Joyner broke another record in 1988. She broke the world and Olympic record in the 200m while competing in Seoul. Her time of 21.34 seconds has also stood for 30 years, and she still holds onto the two fastest running Olympic records for women.
23 golds – 2004 to 2016 Olympics
Michael Phelps is perhaps the greatest Olympian to ever live thanks to his total of 23 gold medals. The nearest athlete to his accomplishment is on nine. He was so far ahead of the game that it almost wasn’t fair on the rest of the competition.
Phelps has a grand total of 28 Olympic medals, and it’s unlikely another athlete can ever replicate what he achieved. The swimmer on his own has more Olympic medals than countries like Portugal, Nigeria, and Morocco have in their history.
These Olympic records have already stood the test of time, and there seems like little chance that they’ll ever be beaten again. We reckon that even in 100 years these records won’t have changed hands, they’re that good.