Summer Olympics Through the Years

Did you know that tug-of-war was an Olympic sport at the 1900 Games in Paris? See this and more in a look back at the last 116 years of summer Olympics around the world!

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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 1.52.03 -- a new world record. 


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.


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.  


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. 


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.

SEOUL 1988

Greg Louganis of the U.S. 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.


Carl Lewis of the U.S. receives the baton from teammate Calvin Smith as he brings the 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. 


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.


Bruce Jenner of the U.S. celebrates during his record-setting performance in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. 


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


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.

TOKYO 1964

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

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. 


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


Nina (Romashkova) Ponomaryova of modern day Russia, represented the Soviet Union. Here, she throws the discus at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. She won the Soveit Union's first Olympic medal and set a new Olympic record.


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


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


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.


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

PARIS 1924

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


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


The opening ceremonies of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.


Women archers participate at the 1908 London Olympics.

ST. LOUIS 1904

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

PARIS 1900

The tug-of-war was a controversial affair, with a combined Sweden/Denmark team beating France in the 1900 Paris Olympics.


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

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