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BEIJING 2008

BEIJING 2008

Michael Phelps of the United States competes in the men's 200-meter butterfly final at the National Aquatics Centre during day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Phelps finished the race in 1.52.49 -- a new world record. 960 1280

Adam Pretty/Getty Images  

ATHENS 2004

ATHENS 2004

Pyrros Dimas of Greece jumps in the air as he celebrates a successful lift in the men's 85 kg category weightlifting competition during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall. 960 1280

Al Bello/Getty Images  

SYDNEY 2000

SYDNEY 2000

Xuan Liu of China in action at the women's gymnastics beam final in the Sydney Superdome on day 10 of the 2000 Olympic Games. 960 1280

Ezra Shaw /Allsport   

ATLANTA 1996

ATLANTA 1996

Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan soars through the flame-lit sky to clear the bar and claim fourth in the pole vault at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. 960 1280

Mike Hewitt /Allsport /Getty Images  

BARCELONA 1992

BARCELONA 1992

Michael Jordon, Scottie Pippen and Clyde Drexler receive their gold medals as members of the US basketball "dream team" during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. 960 1280

Mike Powell/Getty Images  

SEOUL 1988

SEOUL 1988

Greg Louganis of the US diving team sets himself for a dive in the springboard event at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where he won the gold with a score of 730.80 points. 960 1280

Getty Images  

LOS ANGELES 1984

LOS ANGELES 1984

Carl Lewis of the US receives the baton from teammate Calvin Smith as he brings the US team to victory with a new world-record time of 37.83 seconds in the 4x100-meter relay during the 1984 Olympic Games at the Coliseum Stadium in Los Angeles. 960 1280

Tony Duffy/Getty Images   

MOSCOW 1980

MOSCOW 1980

Maria Caridad-Colon of Cuba in action during the women's javelin event of the 1980 Olympic Games at the Lenin Stadium in Moscow. Caridad-Colon won the event with a distance of 68.40 meters. 960 1280

Tony Duffy/Allsport   

MONTREAL 1976

MONTREAL 1976

Bruce Jenner of the US celebrates during his record-setting performance in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. 960 1280

Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty  

MUNICH 1972

MUNICH 1972

Competitors rise out of the blocks at the start of the men's 200 meter final at the Olympiastadion in Munich. 960 1280

Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty  

MEXICO CITY 1968

MEXICO CITY 1968

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos performed their Black Power salute, a human rights protest and one of the most overtly-political statements in the 110-year history of the modern Olympic Games. 960 1280

Universal History Archive/Getty Images  

TOKYO 1964

TOKYO 1964

The start of the 100-meter butterfly swimming race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. 960 1280

Keystone/Getty Images  

ROME 1960

ROME 1960

Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia, running barefoot, draws away from Abdesselem Rhadi of Morocco near the finish of the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He went on to win with a new Olympic record time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 16 seconds. 960 1280

Getty Images  

MELBOURNE 1956

MELBOURNE 1956

Chris Brasher of Great Britain during the steeplechase final event at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. 960 1280

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HELSINKI 1952

HELSINKI 1952

Nina Romaschkova of Russia throws the discus at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. She won Russia's first Olympic medal and set a new Olympic record. 960 1280

Getty Images  

LONDON 1948

LONDON 1948

Danish competitor Major N Mikkelsen fails to win the jumping test event as his horse demolishes a fence at the 1948 Olympics in London. 960 1280

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

BERLIN 1936

BERLIN 1936

American athlete Jesse Owens runs at the 1936 Olympic Games, where he won 4 gold medals. Behind him, an athlete wears a swastika on his vest. 960 1280

Central Press/Getty Images  

LOS ANGELES 1932

LOS ANGELES 1932

Thomas Hampson of Great Britain breaks the tape ahead of Alexander Wilson of Canada to win gold and set a new world record at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932. 960 1280

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

AMSTERDAM 1928

AMSTERDAM 1928

The Chilean goalkeeper fails to prevent Portugal from winning at the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928. 960 1280

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

PARIS 1924

PARIS 1924

Preliminary rounds in the water polo competition take place in the pool at Tourelles during the Paris Olympics in 1924. 960 1280

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

ANTWERP 1920

ANTWERP 1920

Suzanne Lenglen of France competes in the women’s tennis event during the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. 960 1280

Getty Images  

STOCKHOLM 1912

STOCKHOLM 1912

The opening ceremonies of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. 960 1280

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LONDON 1908

LONDON 1908

Women archers participate at the 1908 London Olympics. 960 1280

Topical Press Agency/Getty Images  

ST. LOUIS 1904

ST. LOUIS 1904

The 100-meter freestyle race, which was won by Hungarian swimmer Zoltan Halmay at the 1904 Games in St. Louis. 960 1280

Popperfoto/Getty Images  

PARIS 1900

PARIS 1900

The Tug-of-War was a controversial affair, with a combined Sweden/Denmark team beating France in the 1900 Paris Olympics. 960 1280

Getty Images  

ATHENS 1896

ATHENS 1896

The start of the 100-meter sprint at the first Olympic Games of the modern era in 1896 in Athens. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Bolt Bus and Amtrak

Bolt Bus and Amtrak

In: Amtrak
Out: Bolt Bus
Oh, Bolt Bus, how we wanted to love you. A one-way ticket from DC to NYC costs only $25. After an orderly boarding at Union Station, we were all aglow. But then we were forced to sit for 30 minutes at a time in several nasty Jersey Turnpike rest stops. We thought we could still be friends. But then we got to the embarkation point in NYC for the trip home. Holy nasty corner and crowds, Batman! After a street-side scuffle over luggage space, we were done. Dear Acela, please let us pay you $166 one way, we won’t leave you again.
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In: Pacific Northwest
Skiing Out: European Summer
Skiing The Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting “clime and punishment” for the winter of 2012, a season of unusually cold and stormy weather that will be strongly influenced by La Nina. Translation? Ski bonanza for the Pacific Northwest! At the same time, European ski resorts across the Alps are being forced to close summer ski areas due to the combined effects of global warming and glacial melting. In 2012, only 3 resorts in France are able to offer conditions suitable for summer skiing.
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In: Dirty Hotel Towels
Out: Stealing Hotel Towels

You, too, can help save the planet by simply reusing hotel room towels and linens. According to Green Suites, a hospitality service company, when guests participate in towel and linen reuse programs, an average 150-room hotel can save 6,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent monthly. And for those of us who sometimes find a towel in our luggage, FYI: Linen Technology Tracking has patented a washable chip for hotels to sew into towels, robes and bed sheets that triggers an alarm when tagged items leave the premises. Ouch.
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Eyecandy Images  

In: Stockholm
Out: Venice

Last year, around Christmas time, we had our Italy travel guides primed in anticipation of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie zooming around the canals of Venice in The Tourist. In 2012, we’re all about the dark side of Stockholm as the US version of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo brings us a menacing Daniel Craig and badass Rooney Mara. Here’s to a very Scandinavian 2012.
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In: Traveling Social
Out: Traveling Solo
Savvy travelers have been using TripAdvisor to help plan getaways for several years, and going forward, social travel website and app launches will only accelerate. A dizzying glut of startups hope to cash in on the trend in 2012 with services that run the gamut from sharing and planning itineraries to meeting up with people along the way.
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In: Mayans
Out: Incas

Silly Incas, you need to predict a world apocalypse if you want to be “In” next time. Maya calendar buffs will want to visit a few key sites this year on or before Dec. 12, 2012, the date on which the world is predicted to end (or be reborn) in the Mayan “long count” calendar. Mexico’s Tortuguero no longer exists as an archaeological site, but Monument 6, its most famous relic containing the only text bearing the actual date, is now housed in the Museo Regional de Antropología Carlos Pellicer Cámara in Villahermosa.
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Don Bayley  

In: Space Hotels
Out: Underwater Hotels
This year Galactic Suites plans to open the world’s first orbiting hotel. The Barcelona-based company says guests will orbit the earth every 80 minutes, see the sun rise 15 times a day and crawl around pod rooms using Velcro suits. Your 3-day stay in space will cost approximately $4 million. Meanwhile, Poseidon Undersea Resorts, a proposed chain of underwater hotels, was slated to open its first property in Fiji by 2008. We’re still waiting to sleep with the fishes.
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conrad maldives hotel  

In: Books on Mobile
Out: Books on Kindle

Last year we carried our laptop for work, mobile for texting, tablet for movies and Kindle for books. But this year we’re asking ourselves, “Why carry an extra device when we can download our library to a mobile phone or tablet?” From handy dandy travel guides to beach reads to movies and Angry Birds, the tablet or phone can handle them all. Some of us remember the days when we tore the pages out of our “Let’s Go” after we left a destination to save room in our backpack. You kids have it so easy.
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In: Lima for Eating
Out: Lima for Breathing

Recently this coastal city has been drawing foodies from all over the world to sample a new breed of modern cuisine reflecting Lima's cultural mix of Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese. The country’s long Pacific coast provides an endless bounty of fresh seafood for all sorts of recipes, including Lima's signature dish -- ceviche. Unfortunately the Peruvian capitol suffers from the worst air pollution of any South American capital.
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Ildiko Papp  

In: Edutravel
Out: Glamping

NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are, a program on which celebrities trace their genealogy to destinations across the globe, is capitalizing on a trend that travelers are also embracing -- trips on which learning and activity is emphasized over lazing around the beach or pool. Many tour companies are also offering trips where experts lead the way through historical, scientific and archaeological sites. We’re up for these authentic experiences over last year’s kind-of creepy “glamping” trend. Even the Sex and the City women can’t pull off couture while riding a camel.
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In: 4-Wheeled Luggage
Out: 2-Wheeled Luggage
The first time we saw a woman in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle gliding along next to her suitcase as she daintily guided the large bag down the concourse, we did a double take. We were shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to notice the thing had 4 multi-directional wheels. We were skeptical even as our right shoulder ached from the weight the 2-wheeler that added several feet to our total length. Color us convinced. WANT.
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In: Sonoma, CA
Out: Napa, CA

Wine connoisseurs have long been in on the secret that Sonoma’s 300-plus wineries offer superlative tasting, but travelers have discovered that Sonoma has a more well-rounded flavor than her sister county, Napa. From floating the Russian River to hiking through ancient redwood stands, to browsing Petaluma’s Victorian row to sampling Sepastopol’s Gravenstein apple pies, Sonoma satisfies all tastes.
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Chris Boswell  

In: Mérida
Out: Cancun

Travelers to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in 2012 are forgoing the tired Americaland of Cancun and turning to the “real Mexico” a few hours inland at Merida. The city’s Spanish colonial center is ringed by 16th-century cathedrals and free art museums. Plus, 5 Mayan sites are situated on public bus routes. It’s simple to arrange day trips to the region’s magical cenotes (water-filled limestone sinkholes unique to the Yucatan), as well as the village of Celestún where hundreds of pink flamingos nest and feed in the mangroves.
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Joao Canziani  

Madrid

Madrid

“Spanish people are sexy in general, but I love the locals in Madrid. In addition to good genes, they just have this confidence that oozes sex appeal. I think it's enhanced by the city's architecture, which could easily be the backdrop of a fashion shoot or fragrance campaign. It's just very romantic and Goth and moody. Throw in some flamenco dancers, soccer players, accents and dramatic hand gestures -- whatever it is, everything here is sexy to me.” – Jimmy Im 960 1280

Getty Images   

Stockholm

Stockholm

“Slim, tall and impeccably dressed, the people of Stockholm are more diverse than the blond-haired, blue-eyed stereotype would lead you to believe. Dressed-to-kill publishing types frequent the areas around Stureplan and trendy restaurants like Ekstedt, while the look in music and cafe-mad Sodermalm slants far more hipster. And while Swedes aren't exactly the outgoing-with-strangers types, they do love to practice their English with native speakers -- use it to your advantage to make friends.” – Terry Ward 960 1280

Nicho Södling -- Stockholm Visitors Board  

Italy

Italy

“Despite stretches of living, working and traveling across Italy, I never tire of ogling Italians; they exude a pervasive, innate sexiness. Whether they're -- against all odds -- making red-linen pants look seductive, casually sipping an espresso while perusing La Repubblica newspaper or being freakishly dexterous by simultaneously chattering on a cell phone, smoking a cigarette and eating a gelato while wearing a micro-mini skirt and careening through Rome's streets on a Vespa -- Italianos are dead sexy.” – Valerie Conners 960 1280

Getty Images   

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

"The the fun-loving, hedonist vibe of Tel Aviv's residents is definitely sexy. They don't need a special occasion to stay out until dawn any day of the week -- whether it's lounging inside a cozy wine bar, sipping cocktails at a glamorous restaurant created by a celebrity chef or rocking out to a deejay at a gritty nightclub. Residents take their leisure time very seriously and seem to pursue pleasure with a passion. Observing how they drink up the present moment despite living in a sometimes rocky corner of the world gives them a seductive charm that's all their own." –- Lost Girl Holly Corbett 960 1280

Getty Images   

Argentina

Argentina

“Argentina’s cowboys, known as gauchos, make my world’s sexiest list. On a trip to a ranch outside Buenos Aires, I was one of many women swooning over Luca. He excelled at a gaucho game called the ring race, where gauchos race on horseback to capture a small hanging ring on the end of a metal rod. When they capture the ring, they place it on the finger of a lady of their choosing. Every woman on that ranch, married or single, wanted Luca to put a ring on it.” -- Robin Bennefield 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Mexico City


Mexico City


"As one of the largest cities in the world, maybe the odds of having the sexiest people are simply this city's favor. Or maybe it is the outcome of the mixing of native Aztec and Mayan cultures with old world Spanish that has taken place over the centuries. Or maybe its the language. Even when you don't understand what is being said, it makes your heart beat faster from the mere sound of it. Regardless of the reason, this city's Latinos and Latinas are as spicy as its cuisine, as sultry as its music and as captivating as its history.” -- Troy Petenbrink 960 1280

istock  

Rome

Rome

“Perhaps I’m biased since my father’s from Italy, but a gene pool that turned out Roman native Sophia Loren is nothing if not sexy. And anyone who has seen La Dolce Vita may never look at the Trevi Fountain quite the same again. Add the art, passion, history, fashion and food–-even the language is romantic--and you have a city that pulses with excitement. Trim, tawny Romans dress beautifully and embody the idea of ‘bella figura.’ I’m pretty sure I have a good idea of what many Romans are up to during their daily siestas.” -- Rina Rapuano 960 1280

Getty Images   

Brazil

Brazil

“The sexiest people in the world can be found in that renowned epicenter of bulbous backsides, Brazil. The über-toned beach bodies and striking coal-to-cream complexion speak to Brazil’s virtually endless coastline and centuries-old history of intermixing and immigration. And there’s the pervasive friendliness and joie de vivre that Brazilians seem to be born with, resulting in people who are both sexy and sweet.” -- Ernest White II 960 1280

Getty Images   

Uruguay

Uruguay

“Even though I'm Argentine, I would always take the ‘Buquebus’ over to Punta del Este, Uruguay, during my winter break. I don't know whether it’s because a lot of the polo players, models, celebrities and the super posh vacation there, but every break I spent there was always amongst a sea of beautiful men and women. I now make sure to hit a month-long boot camp before I go, just so I don't feel so out of place!” -– Marianela Pereyra 960 1280

istock  

New York City

New York City

“It may not always be conventional, but sexy is waiting around every corner in New York. I love never knowing whom I'll meet next here, be it a gaggle of top international models or a crazy person channeling alien wisdom. And for me, New Yorkers get extra-sexy points just for living in this tough but glorious melting pot, where beauty and style take an infinite variety of forms, and span the widest spectrums of class and nationality. As Garbo well proved, this is a city where even the most extraordinarily sexy can blend in as just another New Yorker.” -– Dan Allen 960 1280

istock  

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