The Twenty Most Amazing Summer Olympic Records

90700591 swimming epa 560x315As the summer comes to a close and kids begin preparing for the upcoming school year, the rest of the world is focused on Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The Olympic games is the most amazing spectacle in sports. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the 2020 Rio Olympics features an estimated 11,326 athletes from 205 different nations, both Olympic records. That is a huge difference since the first Olympic games in Athens, Greece back in 1896 when only 241 athletes from 14 nations competed.

260494 Derek Redmond 560x280Over the course of the 29 different times we have been treated to the Summer Olympic games since 1896, there have been some amazing moments. Like when an Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikila, won a Gold medal in marathon running, and he did it barefoot. Or when Derek Redmond tore his hamstring during his semi-final race in the 400 meters and still limped to the finish line with the help of his father, who jumped over the railing and helped carry him to the finish line.

During all those games and amazing moments, records were broken, over and over and over again. That is the beauty in sports. Athletes aim higher every single Olympic games and break records every time. However, there are some records that have remained for a very long time. Those Olympic records are impressive to begin with but when you see how long they have stood, you will be even more amazed. Here are the most amazing Summer Olympic records that have stood the test of time.


Bob Beamon, 1968

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Long Jump
  • Games: Mexico City
  • Record: 8.90 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – No one has broken this amazing record during the Olympics since Bob Beamon took it with him in 1968. Mike Powell broke the record in the World Championships but he is the only person to break it, ever.

Aleksandr Melentiev, 1980

Aleksandr Melentiev

  • Sport: Shooting
  • Event: 50 m Pistol
  • Games: Moscow
  • Record: 581
  • Chances to break in Rio: 75% – Jin Jong-oh broke this record during qualifications in the World Championships back in 2014 and will try for the Olympic record starting next Wednesday.

Leon Wood, 1984

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  • Sport: Basketball
  • Games: Los Angeles
  • Record: 63 (Most Assists)
  • Chances to break in Rio: 75% – Thanks to LeBron James not taking his talents to Rio this summer, the Team USA basketball team is built on teamwork and relationships. Draymond Green might end up easily beating this record, it depends on how quickly this team meshes.

Ulf Timmermann, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Shot Put
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 22.47 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – It isn’t a popular sport but that is only because it doesn’t get much love on television. If someone breaks this record, those are the things that start to change.

Sergey Litvinov, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Hammer Throw
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 84.80 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – Maybe in 2024, there just isn’t going to be anyone strong enough to toss the hammer this far. Just for perspective, that is farther than any NFL QB can throw a football.

Julius Kariuki, 1988

Julius Kariuki

  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 3,000 m Steeplechase
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 8:05.51
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – The steeplechase is an interesting event because it has a giant hurdle with a tiny pond on the other end of it, just like the track a horse runs on.

David Robinson, 1988

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  • Sport: Basketball
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 19 (Most Blocks)
  • Chances to break in Rio: 50% – DeAndre Jordan is a beast in the international game of basketball. He is bigger than most of his opponents and he can jump through the roof. His ability to dominate the paint is going to leave him with a 50/50 shot at breaking this block record.

Kevin Young, 1992

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 400 m Hurdles
  • Games: Barcelona
  • Record: 46.78
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – The hurdles are a tough race and the record, both World and Olympic, haven’t been touched since Kevin Young in 1992. No one in Rio should be able to break this one.

Michael Jordan 1992

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  • Sport: Basketball
  • Games: Barcelona
  • Record: 37 (Most Steals)
  • Chances to break in Rio: 25% – Since the team play of Team USA has improved heading into Rio, the odds are low but there is still a potential shot at MJ’s record being broken in the next two weeks.

Kenny Harrison, 1996

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Triple Jump
  • Games: Atlanta
  • Record: 18.09 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – When the best in the world heading into Rio was a good 0.31 m behind this record, the odds it goes down in Rio is highly unlikely.

Charles Austin, 1996

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: High Jump
  • Games: Atlanta
  • Record: 2.39 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 5% – Enjoy this record for one more Olympics Mr. Austin. You are safe.

Michael Johnson, 1996

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 400 m
  • Games: Atlanta
  • Record: 43.49
  • Chances to break in Rio: 90% – With the talents of Kirani James, LaShawn Merritt, and Wayde van Niekerk competing against one another, this can only increase the chances of the record to be broken. Each runner is going to push the other and we might see a huge record fall.

Oh Kyo-Moon, 1996

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  • Sport: Archery
  • Event: 12 Arrow Match
  • Games: Atlanta
  • Record: 115
  • Chances to break in Rio: 90% – Experts are predicting this record to go down but only if the weather holds up.


Ilona Slupianek, 1980

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Shot Put
  • Games: Moscow
  • Record: 22.41 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – Chalk this record up to unbeatable for this Olympics, at least.

Nadezhda Olizarenko, 1980

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 800 m
  • Games: Moscow
  • Record: 1:53.43
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – The last time anyone broke this record, not at the Olympics, was in 1983 when Jarmila Kratochvilova did it by only 0.15 seconds.

Florence Griffith-Joyner, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Events: 100 m and 200 m
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 10.62 (100 m), 21.34 (200 m)
  • Chances to break in Rio: 50% for both thanks to the rise of the next big American star, Tori Bowie, who could become the first woman since 1988 to win a gold medal in both races.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Events: Heptathlon and Long Jump
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 7,291 pts (Heptathlon), 7.40 m (Long Jump)
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% Chance of either record being broken any time soon.

Paula Ivan, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 1,500 m
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 3:53.96
  • Chances to break in Rio: 85% – Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia just might beat this record last year and seems to be the favorite to do it again only this time, at the Olympics.

Martina Hellmann, 1988

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: Discus Throw
  • Games: Seoul
  • Record: 72.30 m
  • Chances to break in Rio: 0% – The discus throw is one of the coolest events at the Olympics because you are throwing a solid metal frisbee anywhere between 50-65 meters. Not many people can reach 70 m, let alone 72 m.

Kim Soo-nyung, 1992

Kim Soo nyung

  • Sport: Archery
  • Event: 12-Arrow Match
  • Games: Barcelona
  • Record: 114
  • Chances to break in Rio: 75% – Much like in the men’s events, the women’s events are going to see some records fall this year thanks to a very strong field of athletes that have gotten better over the years.

Marie-Jose Perec, 1996

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  • Sport: Athletics
  • Event: 400 m
  • Games: Atlanta
  • Record: 48.25
  • Chances to break in Rio: 25% – No woman has broken past 49 seconds since Sanya Richards-Ross did it three different times. (2006, 2007, 2009)