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Olympians Who Made Their Mark

Athletes from RFE/RL's broadcast region have provided plenty of Olympic thrills and spills over the years. Here's a quick pick of some of their best (and worst) moments from the Summer Olympics.

Hungarian water-polo player Ervin Zador after the infamous semifinal against the U.S.S.R. at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 (just after the Soviet invasion of Hungary). The Hungarians won the bad-tempered match and went on to clinch the gold medal.
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Hungarian water-polo player Ervin Zador after the infamous semifinal against the U.S.S.R. at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 (just after the Soviet invasion of Hungary). The Hungarians won the bad-tempered match and went on to clinch the gold medal.

Belarusian gymnast Olga Korbut's innovative back flips on the beam made a major impact at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and contributed to a major surge in the sport's popularity.
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Belarusian gymnast Olga Korbut's innovative back flips on the beam made a major impact at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and contributed to a major surge in the sport's popularity.

Korbut's tears after falling off the beam also helped humanize Soviet athletes, whom Cold War propaganda had portrayed as cold-blooded emotionless automatons.
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Korbut's tears after falling off the beam also helped humanize Soviet athletes, whom Cold War propaganda had portrayed as cold-blooded emotionless automatons.

In 1992, Korbut's compatriot Vitaly Scherbo triumphed in six of eight events at the Barcelona Olympics, winning more gold medals at a single Olympics than any other gymnast in history.
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In 1992, Korbut's compatriot Vitaly Scherbo triumphed in six of eight events at the Barcelona Olympics, winning more gold medals at a single Olympics than any other gymnast in history.

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