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Ten mythical photographs of the history of sport
Get inspired 29 May 2017

Ten mythical photographs of the history of sport

Sports is a history. It’s comprised of victories, incredible performances, defeats and tragedies. At times, there could be a peculiar social or even political context. At every step of this history, the photographers didn’t fail and offered us wonderful photos, which highlight the power of emotions during sports. During the legendary Roland Garros tournament, blast from the past of 10 photos, which went down in the history of sports!

Black Panthers : sports against a backdrop of rebellion

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, United States athletes Tommie Smith, top center, and John Carlos, top right, extend their gloved fists skyward during the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Australia's silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. When Tommie Smith bowed his head and thrust a black-gloved fist toward the sky from the top of the Olympic podium 45 years ago, he was making a personal statement about human rights. With questions swirling over an anti-gay law in Russia, which will host the Winter Games in Sochi in February, today's athletes face a similar choice, Smith told The Associated Press Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at a track and field meet in Rieti, Italy. (AP Photo/File)/NY152/717491874698/AN OCT. 16, 1968, B&W FILE PHOTO; /1309091753

A symbol which immortalizes this photo: the one of discrimination, despite the abolition of segregation, black American victims in 1968. The American sprinters Tommie Smith (gold medal) and John Carlos (bronze medal) enjoy their victory at the Mexico Olympic games to convey a message to America, in front of the entire world: fist raised, head down, along with a black glove to represent Black Panthers, this turned into a symbol of struggle for civil rights, of the black people.

Mohammed Ali, head of the ring


In this legendary match, Mohammed Ali knocks out his opponent Cleveland Williams. This photo gives us the view of the ring from the top, it is able to put the match’s fervor in the limelight. Artistic, it forces us to focus on the contrast between the two fighters. Contrary to what one thinks, this photo wasn’t taken at the end of the match: the two boxers still had to compete for two more rounds, before Williams withdrew.

The  « Hand of God»


During the 1986 world cup, the Argentinean player Diego Maradona scored a goal against England with one hand. This goal was followed by another, with a foot this time, and made Argentina win the match and participate in the finals, which they also won. At the end of the match, Maradona names this contested goal by stating: “A little due to Maradona’s mind, and a little due to the hand of God”.

Surpassing oneself, in the extremes


The American gymnast had already hurt her left ankle, she exultantly achieved her second vault, during the vaulting round, and landed on one foot. She was boosted by the desire to see her team win. Strug didn’t let this broken ankle come in the way. An absolute achievement: through this vault, she won the gold medal for her team.

All-time record


It took 23 years to beat the “leap of the twentieth century”, achieved by Bob Beamon at the Olympic games in 1968. A long jump of 8,90 meters which made his performance photo, just iconic. Even more impressive: 55 cm makes him stand out from the previous record holder. In 1991, Mike Powell beat Bob Beamon’s record, this time with a….5 cm distance!



Finally the champion of Roland Garros, after three defeats in the previous year finals, one can see joy and relief on Roger Federer’s face! Roland Garros was the only Grand slam tournament, that Federer hadn’t won until this day…

« Miracle on ice »

The encounter between the American and Soviet hockey team at the Winter Olympic games in 1980, caught everyone’s attention: during this period one was in the middle of the cold war between USA and USSR. Theoretically, the Americans didn’t have much of a chance to win against the Soviets, who had won 6 on 7 during the previous occasions. The unexpected American victory was rightly named “Miracle on ice”!



A miracle athlete, Nadia Comaneci the gymnast, performed just perfectly during the asymmetric bar exercise…Following this, she became the first athlete to achieve a 10/10 in artistic gymnastics during the Olympic games in Montreal. From all of her 14 years, she still remains the youngest athlete to receive a medal till date, and since then she has achieved 6 more victories.

The symbol


Exchange of jerseys between Moore and Pele at the end of Brazil’s victory 1-0 against England, during the1970 world cup, still remains the most symbolic photo in the world of football. Pele and Moore share such a true moment of joy, one can hardly believe that the photo depicts the winner and the loser. This gesture wasn’t only famous during the 1970 world cup, but also turned into a football symbol, for generations.

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