Olympics: From Athens 1896 to Beijing 2008 (Part V)

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1988- Seoul Olympics:
1988 Oly: The Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson failed drug test.Seoul was the second Asian city to ever host an Olympic Games.Canadian Ben Johnson beat defending champion Carl Lewis in the 100-meter dash with a world record time of 9.79. Two days later, however, Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and sent packing by the IOC when his post-race drug test indicated steroid use.Lewis, who finished second in the 100, was named the winner.Another US athlete Florence Griffith Joyner claimed four medals–gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay, and silver in the 4x400 relay. The most gold medals were won by swimmers–Kristin Otto of East Germany (6) and American Matt Biondi (5). Athletes from 159 nations competed at the Seoul Games.

1992- Barcelona Olympics:
1992 Oly: The Belarussian gymnast Vitaly Scherbo bagged as many as six golds in both individual and team events.The first Olympics since the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. South Africa was allowed again to participate in the Olympics after a 28 years suspension in the Olympic Games for its aparthied policy. In men's artistic gymnastics, Vitaly Scherbo from Belarus won six gold medals, including four on a single day. Linford Christie finally won gold in the 100m, at 32 years old the oldest champion of the Olympic 100m.

1996-Atlanta Olympics:
1996 Oly: Pride of India Leander Paes who won bronze in tennis singles pose with Andre Agassi (US, Gold) and Sergai Brugera (Spn, Silver).Mohammad Ali lit the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona games.Sadly, just eight days later horror was the prevailing mood after a terrorist's bomb ripped apart a peaceful Friday evening in Centennial Olympic Park. In the explosion, one woman was killed, 111 people were injured and the entire world was reminded of the terror and tragedy of Munich in 1972.Carl Lewis pulled out one last bit of magic to win the long jump for the ninth gold medal of his amazing Olympic career in Atlanta.Donovan Bailey set a world record in the 100 and led Canada to a win over a faltering U.S. team in the 4x100 relay.time. Michael Johnson won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m, setting a new world record of 19.32 seconds in the 200 m. India's Leander Paes won a bronze medal in men's singles after he was beaten by Agassi in the semi-finals.

2000-Sydney Olympics:
2000 Oly: Aussie Cathey Freeman won gold in 400m. She became the first Aussie aborginie ever to win a gold in the Games.One main star of the Olympics was Ian Thorpe. The 17-year-old Australian first set a new world record in the 400 m freestyle final. The 'Thorpedo' set the pool ablaze by winning three golds and two silvers. And added two golds and a silver and bronze apiece to his kitty in the following Games at Athens. Cathy Freeman became the first Aborigin Australian to win gold. She won 400m. Marion Jones, who won three golds and two bronzes for the United States in Sydney, relinquished her medals in October 2007 after confessing that she had taken tetrahydrogestrinone from September during games. The IOC has formally stripped Jones and her relay teammates of their 5 medals. 199 countries participated in the Olympic games.

2004- Athens Olympics:
2004 Oly: The American swimmer Michael Phelps emerged as face of the Athens Games. Olympics returned to its birth city after a gap 108 years. For the first time ever, the flame travelled around the world in a relay to former Olympic cities and other large cities, before returning to Greece.The Athens games had two official mascots:Atguba and Phevos. American swimmer Michael Phelps emerged as the face of the Athens games. He tied the Olympic record by winning eight medals, six of them gold. The hosts suffered humiliation before the start of the event when their two prime sprenters Konstantinos Kenteris and Ekterina Thanou. A record number of 202 nations participated in the Athens Olympics. And the Games moved from Oriental Europe to Oriental East..

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