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Popular nicknames of famous athletes at the Summer Olympics

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt
ANALYST
Modified 17 Feb 2021
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Throughout the Summer Olympics, many athletes have earned laurels for their respective countries. In addition, they have also earned interesting nicknames in the process.

From Usain Bolt to Michael Phelps, many Olympians have nicknames to go along with their original names. So, here goes the list of the greatest athletes at the Summer Olympics who are known by different names.


#1 Usain Bolt - Lightning Bolt

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt captivated all track and field fans around the world with his stunning performances at the Summer Olympics. He won medals in 100m and 200m in three consecutive Summer Olympic Games. Bolt was given the name 'Lightning Bolt' for his speed and has certainly lived up to that name.

#2 Michael Phelps - The Baltimore Bullet

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is arguably the greatest Olympian the world has ever seen. The legendary American swimmer has won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold, making him the most decorated athlete of all time.

Nicknamed 'The Baltimore Bullet', he broke Mark Spitz's record by winning 8 gold medals in a single edition of the Olympics, thereby justifying his name. Phelps is also referred to as the 'Flying Fish'. Interestingly, his Chinese fans quote him as the' Half-Man Half-Fish’.

#3 Michael Jordan - Air Jordan

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Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He led the United States to two Summer Olympic crowns at the 1992 Barcelona and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Jordan was nicknamed 'Air Jordan' courtesy of his athleticism and great finishes at the rim.

#4 Florence Griffith-Joyner - Flo-jo

Florence Griffith-Joyner
Florence Griffith-Joyner

Florence Griffith-Joyner was often called the 'Fastest Woman Alive' for setting world records in 100m and 200m at the 1988 Summer Olympics. The American sprinter was a winner of four Summer Olympic gold medals. After marrying 1984 triple jump Olympic champion Al Joyner, she eventually picked up the name 'Flo-jo'.

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#5 Lin Dan - Super Dan

Lin Dan
Lin Dan

Lin Dan is arguably the greatest badminton player the world has ever seen in the Summer Olympics. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion is the only shuttler to have successfully defended his title at the mega-quadrennial Games. His incredible performances got him the name 'Super Dan' back in 2004.

Also read: Why does the Olympic Flag have five rings?


Nicknames of other athletes at the Summer Olympics

Here are the nicknames of some of the other Olympians.

  • Naim Süleymanoğlu (Weightlifting)- Pocket Hercules
  • Gabby Douglas(Gymnastics)- Flying Squirrel
  • Alexander Karelin(Wrestling)- The Experiment
  • Ian Thorpe (Swimming)- Thorpedo
  • Jesse Owens (Athletics)- The Buckeye Bullet
  • Olga Korbut (Gymnastics)- The Sparrow From Minsk
  • Muhammad Ali (Boxing)- The Louisville Lip, The Greatest
  • Carl Lewis- King Carl
  • LeBron James(Basketball)- King James
  • Tiger Woods (Golf)- Tiger
  • Dhyan Chand- The Wizard
  • Kobe Bryant(Basketball)- Black Mamba
  • Laura Flessel-Colovic (Fencing)- The Wasp
  • Mike Tyson(Boxing)- Iron Mike
  • Alexander Popov(Swimming)- The Russian Rocket
Published 17 Feb 2021, 19:08 IST
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