The Olympics is not about sport alone. It is, more importantly, about the depths and limits of human endeavor. And legendary Olympians, by the sheer weight of their endurance, determination and grit – demonstrated over the years through powerful performances on the world’s biggest sporting stage – are the biggest living and shining examples of this endeavour.
The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games will also feature such Olympic legends who are carrying forward the torch, lit once upon a time by such names as Jesse Owens, Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci, Carl Lewis and the likes. Some of those would also be seen at an Olympics for the last time.
Here we try and profile six of those absolute Olympic legends who would be looking at the Rio Games as one final act of a dream saga- which has been their career in the sport they so love and have pursued as a profession.
#1 Robert Scheidt
Let us start with the hosts. It will be fair to say that it is because of legends such as Robert Scheidt, that countries get to host the Olympic Games. Imagine a country bidding to host an Olympic Games not having even one legendary Olympian in their ranks. It will feel strange, would it not?
Robert Scheidt, Brazil’s champion sailor ticks all the boxes to qualify for Olympic legend status. Longevity, as this will be his sixth Olympics on the trot. Versatility, given he has Olympic medals both in the Laser and Star sailing classes. Mastery over the sport, given he has won medals in every Olympic he has participated so far.
An absolute champion, it would be a stuff of dreams if Scheidt at 43 is able to sign-off with yet another Olympic Gold (he has two already) and add to his collection of five Olympic medals in front of his home fans.