On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) American swimmer Michael Phelps, then 23, set a new record for the most gold medals won in one Olympic games by winning his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympic games, beating the previous world record of seven that was set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Olympic Games, which took place in Munich, Germany.
Phelps’ eighth medal was won in the final of the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay. In addition to Phelps, Aaron Piersol, Brendan Hansen, and Jason Lezak were in the winning Olympic team, which had a time of 3:29.34, which was a new world record. In seven of his eight races, Phelps set or contributed to a new world record time. He set an Olympic record time in the remaining race.
“With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination,” said Phelps after realizing he had set the new medals record. “There are so many emotions going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.”
“Without the help of my team-mates this isn’t possible,” he continued. “I was able to be a part of three relays and we were able to put up a solid team effort and we came together as one unit. For the three Olympics I’ve been a part of, this is by far the closest men’s team that we’ve ever had. I didn’t know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference.”
Grant Hackett, an Australian swimmer, praised Phelps for achieving his goal. “Michael Phelps – you can’t put it in words what he has done here, his level of achievement is phenomenal and I don’t think it will ever be seen again.”
On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Jamaica dominated the women’s 100m at the Beijing Olympics with Shelly-Ann Fraser taking the gold medal in 10.78; her team mates Sherone Simpson & Kerron Stewart dead-heat for silver in 10.98
On this day 17 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson won Olympic gold in the 200m to complete a sprint double in Rio.
Thompson clocked 21.78 seconds to beat Netherlands’ former world champion Dafne Schippers by 0.13sec and add the 200m title to the gold she won in the 100m.
USA’s Tori Bowie took bronze in 22.15.
“It is a very special and welcoming feeling for me. I think my light has shined,” Thompson said.
“Watching Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and then putting my name there is an amazing feeling.”
Campbell-Brown won the Olympic 200m title at Athens 2004 and retained it in Beijing 2008, while Fraser-Pryce took 100m gold at both Beijing and London 2012.
In all, Jamaica have won 11 of the past 12 Olympic golds in the 100m and 200m.
Thompson is the first woman to complete the Olympic sprint double since Florence Griffiths -Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Chile’s Fernando González 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the men’s tennis singles at the Beijing Olympics; Spain’s first ever Olympic gold medal in tennis.
On this day 17 August 2013 (Exactly 6 years ago today) Usain Bolt defended his 200m title with ease and took his tally of World Championships gold medals to seven.
The Jamaican set a world leading time of 19.66 seconds to secure his third successive world title in the event.
Bolt’s compatriot Warren Weir clinched silver with a personal best 19.79 while America’s Curtis Mitchell (20.04) took bronze by a hundredth of a second.
On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Four years after winning Olympic silver in the rowing quad sculls in Athens, Briton Rebecca Romero became only 2nd woman to earn medals in 2 different sports at the summer Games when she won the pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing.
On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Gulnara Samitova-Galkina of Russia won the 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in world record 8:58.81
On this day 17 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Australian women’s 4 x 100m medley relay team of Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper & Libby Trickett upset the United States to win the gold medal in world record 3:52.69 at the Beijing Olympics.
On this day 17 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) There was American sweep in 100m women’s hurdles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with Brianna Rollins taking gold ahead of Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin; 1st time US has swept medals in an Olympic women’s track & field event.
On this day 17 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Kenyan runner Conseslus Kipruto recorded an Olympic record 8:03.28 to win the men’s 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games.