With the Opening Ceremony one week away, NBC is preparing for the pomp and pageantry of the XXX Olympiad with “30 Greatest NBC Olympic Moments,” airing at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
Visitors to NBCOlympics.com were invited to view videos of 30 selected memorable Olympic moments and vote for their top three. The results will be revealed during the one-hour special.
Olympic legend Carl Lewis made the cut for his performance in the sprint relay in 1992. After failing to make the U.S. team at 100 meters, in which Lewis had won the last two Olympic gold medals, the 31-year-old won long jump gold. Lewis then anchored the 4x100 relay squad to victory — in world record time — for his eighth career gold medal.
Also among the unforgettable moments, both triumphant and tragic, is the vault by gymnast Kerri Strug, which secured the gold medal for the U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team, also known as the Magnificent Seven, in 1996. Strug, who had a reputation for “faltering on big stages,” fell on the first of two vaults, injuring her ankle. Limping back to the top of the runway, with coach Bela Karolyi bellowing, “You can do it!” Strug took a moment to compose herself before charging down the runaway, executing a perfect Yurchenko one-and-a-half and sticking the landing before collapsing to the mat in agony.
The vault scored a 9.712 to secure the win, and the Magnificent Seven remain the only U.S. women's team to claim Olympic Gold in gymnastics.
Other Olympic moments presented for consideration include:
2004 - Carly Patterson wins all-around (gymnastics)
2004 - Paul Hamm Wins all-around (gymnastics)
1996 - Donovan Bailey's 100m gold in world record time (track and field)
1996 - Michael Johnson's 200m world record
1992 - Derek Redmond limps across the line with his father (track and field)
1992 - Dream Team wins gold (basketball)
1992 - Jackee Joyner Kersee repeats as heptathlon champion
NBC's coverage of the XXX Olympiad, taking place in London July 27-August 12, begins with the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” presents a special two hour episode as 10 of the greatest Summer Olympic legends come together and Oprah Winfrey goes inside their triumphs and untold stories, and discovers what happens after the glory on “Oprah Salutes Superstar Olympians,” airing at 8 p.m., Sunday, July 22 on OWN.
As the world prepares for the 2012 Summer Games, taking place in London July 27– August 12, Winfrey sits down with 10 legendary Olympic legends including track and field stars Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner Kersee and Al Joyner; celebrated gymnasts Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton and Shawn Johnson; diver Greg Louganis and world record-breaking swimmers Janet Evans and Mark Spitz.
According to the network, Mary Joyner, the daughter of Al Joyner and the late Florence Griffith Joyner, talks to Winfrey about how her mother’s death has impacted her life. A pretty and popular sprinter, Griffith Joyner, who came to be known simply as “Flo-Jo,” is considered “the fastest woman of all time,” based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged. The image of pure rapture as her husband Al scooped her up and joyously spun her around after her gold medal victory in the 100 meters at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 is one that still endures in the annals of sport. Flo-Jo died suddenly of epilepsy in 1998 at the age of 38.
Winfrey’s salute to the superstars of summer will also include an in-depth look at who to watch in 2012, including Lolo Jones (track & field), Gabby Douglas (gymnastics), Missy “The Missile” Franklin (swimming), Michael Phelps (swimming), Carmelita Jeter (track & field) and Jordan Wieber (gymnastics). Also featured is Winfrey’s conversation with decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner about life after the Olympics.