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The 5 Biggest Rivalries in Olympic History

March 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 179

The Olympic Games have been said to be about many things - teamwork, determination, courage - but one thing cannot be denied: at the heart of it all is competition and rivalry. Even from the same team, there are rivals. In the end, each athlete is looking for only one thing: to be the best.

And when the best matches up with the best, sparks are bound to fly, and the world watches with bated breath.

Here, we have compiled five of the greatest Olympic rivalries the world has ever seen.

1. Allyson Felix (USA) vs. Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica), 200 metres. The Felix-Campbell-Brown rivalry is one of the most celebrated rivalries in women's track and field, and in the 2012 London Olympics, we will have the pleasure of watching it again.

Felix, of course, is a two-time Olympic silver medallist and a three-time World champion. Campbell-Brown, on the other hand, is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a two-time World runner-up to Felix.

In the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, these two women accounted for every single gold medal in the 200-metre events. How they will fare against each other and against everyone else this year will certainly be something worth seeing.

2. Usain Bolt (Jamaica) vs. Tyson Gay (USA), 100 metres. Usain Bolt holds the world records for 100 metres and 200 metres. Tyson Gay is the only person who ever beat Bolt in a final since Bolt established his current records.

Bolt claims his 2011 defeat by Gay was due to a back injury. He says that Gay deserved that win - but he is confident about this year.

Will Bolt be taking his crown back from Gay, or will Gay be asserting ownership? We shall soon find out.

3. Seb Coe (Great Britain) vs. Steve Ovett (Great Britain), middle-distance running. Great rivalries have certainly been made and seen in the running arena - but none of them have been as well known and celebrated as the one between Seb Coe and fellow Briton Steve Ovett.

The two first met on the track in 1978. It was a race won by German Olaf Beyer. Ovett took second place, and Coe took third.

In the 1980 Olympics, they finally went head-to-head, with the world record for the mile exchanging hands between the two of them three times in a time span of ten days.

A moving account of their rivalry has been documented in a book, The Perfect Distance, by Pat Butcher. A movie of the same theme is also being made by BBC.

4. Michael Phelps (USA) vs. Ryan Lochte (USA), swimming. Here is another contender for the greatest rivalries in Olympic history, and interestingly, it is again between two men from the same team - this time, it's team USA.

Michael Phelps is the only person in the history of the world to have won eight gold medals in a single Olympics Games, giving him the title of "Greatest Swimmer of All Time."

Ryan Lochte is the person who, in 2009, beat Phelps' record for the 200 metres, then beat it again 2011.

So in the 2012 London Olympics, we'll be watching a competition between the World's Greatest Swimmer and the man who has beat him in recent years. Interesting? We think so.

5. Anna Meares (Australia) vs. Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain), track cycling. They are the fastest female track cyclists in the world, and their battle is far from new - nor is it friendly. It began about five years back when, as Pendleton narrates, Meares deliberately bumped her at a race. The Briton never forgave the Australian, setting off a rivalry whose antipathy extended beyond the track.

In a newspaper interview, Pendleton called Meares "a very strong, determined rider," but added, "I am a fairer, better one."

It's the hometown hero against her greatest foe. It should be an exciting showdown.

London Olympics Chauffeur available from TST Cars.

Source: EzineArticles
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