Best Two Players On Spain World Cup Team The Five Greatest Athletes of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

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The Five Greatest Athletes of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Who are they and why?

1. Michael Phelps (Water/United States): Considered by many Olympic experts to be the best athlete in the world, Michael holds the current world record in seven swimming events: 400m individual medley (4:03.84), 200m relay m freestyle (1:42.96), 4x100m freestyle relay (3:08.24), 200m butterfly (1:52.03), 4x200m freestyle relay (6:58.56), 200m individual medley (1:54.23), 4x100m medley relay (3:29.34). On 16 August 2008, he also set an Olympic record in the 100 m butterfly (50.58). A national hero in Maryland and the United States, he won 16 Olympic medals. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, he broke Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old record of eight Olympic gold medals. From 2004 to 2008, Michael Phelps won more Olympic gold medals than many countries (including Ireland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal and Malaysia). Unlike Mark Spitz, Michael did not compete in the Pan American Games. Mike Celizic (sports writer) wrote: “Phelps has already done things we’ve never seen before and are unlikely to see again. And he’s done it every time he leaves the starting blocks. His 14 career gold medals are a record. In Beijing he won eight gold medals, five of them by himself and three as a member of two relay teams. Two golds were won on the same day, and the seven medals brought a new world record.”

2. Rafael Nadal (Tennis/Spain): The 22-year-old is one of the best tennis players in history. He became the first Spaniard to win a gold medal in Olympic tennis. Spain’s Rafael Nadal defeated Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, who won the bronze medal in the men’s singles tennis tournament at the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece) in 2004. In 2008, Rafael also won the French Open and the Wimbledon tournament. Like most Spaniards, Rafael Nadal played football (soccer) as a youth. “I continued to play both soccer and tennis, but slowly I played more and more tennis with my uncle, says Nadal. But I still preferred soccer. That was my true love when I was a little boy.” Apart from his native language, he speaks English only well enough to hold a casual conversation. He says, “I’m sorry my English isn’t that good. I only speak a quarter of English. Maybe a quarter of a quarter. It’s not good.” .World tennis number one Rafael Nadal was born on June 3, 1986 in Manocor, Mallorca (Spain).

3. Usain Bolt (Athletics/Jamaica): He is an Olympic idol in the world. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Usain won two gold medals: 100 m (world and Olympic record) and 200 m (world and Olympic record). He set his first world record on August 16, when he ran 100 meters in 9.69 seconds (beating his own record). Just four days later, Usain set a new world record of 19.30 seconds in the 200 meters, breaking the old mark of 19.32 set by Michael Johnson (United States) in 1996. Usain Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 in Trelawny, Jamaica. Tim Layden – an American sportswriter – wrote: “Several American colleges offered him a track scholarship, but he declined.” Unlike many famous athletes, Usain trains and lives in Jamaica, where Donald Quarrie, Donovan Bailey, Patrick Ewing, Lennox Miller, George Kerr, Asafa Powell, Tessa Sanderson, Marlene Ottey were born. Usain Bolt loves Jamaica – it’s about the size of Connecticut – and the Caribbean. “I can’t live outside of Jamaica,” he says.

4. Jelena Isinbayeva (Athletics/Russian): Won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the pole vault (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). In this century, she broke 24 world records and several European records. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she broke her own world record with a jump of 5.05 meters. This athlete won five world championships between 2004 and 2008. Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena was born on June 3, 1982 in Volgograd, Russia. His coach is Vitalii Afanasievich Petrov.

5. Lionel Messi (Soccer/Argentina): Like Ronaldinho (Brazil), Lukas Podolski (Germany), Luis Figo (Portugal) and Victor Naofor (Nigeria), Lionel Andres Messi, better known as “the Flea”, is one of the best players in the world. Led by Lionel Andres Messi, Argentina qualified for the final of the men’s football tournament in Beijing 2008. In 2005, he led the Argentina team to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Holland. Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 in the final…

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