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Usain Bolt may have been the only athlete who upstaged swimmer Michael Phelps in the Beijing Olympics. The Jamaican sprinter surprisingly set two individual world records in the 100 and 200 meters and was part of a 4 x 100 metre relay world record Jamaican team.

Bob Beamon Summer Olympics, Oct. 18, 1968 U.S. track and field athlete Bob Beamon flies through the air during his world record long jump of 8.9 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Beamons jump, which inspired a new adjective for spectacular feats (Beamonesque), stood as the world record for 23 years.

Florence Griffith-Joyner

UK: Mary Rand Athlete Born 1940 A remarkable athlete, Rand was the first British woman to win an Olympic gold in a track and field event. She won the gold for a record-breaking long jump of 6.76m in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, but was such an all-rounder that she also took home a silver and a bronze for the pentathlon and 100m relay.

American swimmer Adelaide Lambert. She competed in the 1928 Olympics, winning the gold medal in the 4x100 m freestyle relay.

Dana Vollmer of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal and setting a new world record time of 55.98 seconds in the women's 100m Butterfly final, London 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Lighting the Olympic Flame - The Olympic Cauldron rises during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games Picture: GETTY IMAGES