Memorable Sports Moment: Ben Johnson Winning the Gold Medal at the ’88 Olympic Games

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Here’s something you probably didn’t know about this race.  Carl Lewis said this before the 1988 Olympics:  “There are gold medalists at this meet who are on drugs, that [100 meters] race will be looked at for many years, for more reasons than one.” Ben Johnson’s response was: “When Carl Lewis was winning everything, I never said a word against him. And when the next guy comes along and beats me, I won’t complain about that either.” This set up the rivalry leading into the 1988 Olympic Games.

And what happened next?  You guessed it. On September 24, Johnson beat Lewis in the 100m final at the Olympics, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. Johnson would later remark that he would have been even faster had he not raised his hand in the air just before he finished the race.  However, Johnson’s urine samples were found to contain Stanozolol, and he was disqualified three days later.

Ah yes.  Three days later.  Let’s take a moment to reflect on those three days though.  Did one ever stop to think about how amazing Ben Johnson’s life was in those three days?  I can’t imagine the numbers he was pulling at the Olympic Village. Think about it.  You are the fastest man in the world, breaking the world record on the biggest stage in the planet.  P.S. There are hundreds of hormone induced athletes waiting to take out their energies on unsuspecting world record holding track runners.

Now clearly I wouldn’t want to be Ben when he was found out, but those three days after winning must have been incredible.

Image via Youtube


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