PARIS, June 5, 2008 (AFP) – With the 2008 Olympics getting under way in Beijing on August 8, AFP Sport presents a selection of the legends who have lit up the event down the years:
Abebe Bikila (ETH) –
Running barefoot, Bikila of Ethiopia won the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Despite undergoing an appendectomy just over a month before the race, Bikila returned to win the marathon at the Tokyo Games in 1964 in a world record time, this time with shoes and socks.
Nadia Comaneci (ROM)-
Romania’s Nadia Comaneci won a total of nine gold medals at the 1976 and 1980 Games, famously becoming the first gymnast in Olympic history to be awarded the perfect score of 10.0 in Montreal.
Judges went on to award Comaneci, who later defected to the United States, the perfect score seven times during the 1976 Games.
Dawn Fraser (AUS)-
Australian Fraser made her mark in the 100m freestyle event, taking gold in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and then in Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964.
In doing so, she became the first woman to defend an Olympic swimming title and the first Olympic swimmer of either sex to win the same event three times.
Fraser also won gold in the 4x100m frees