OLYMPIC FEVER: THE GREATEST?

The face of Head & Shoulders For Men: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

With the London 2012 Olympics upon us, we thought it would be very appropriate to list our top 5 male athletes ever to grace the Olympic Games. Cutting down the list to a top five wasn't easy, but we're happy with our choice. 

1. MICHAEL JOHNSON (Atlanta 1996 - Sydney 2000)
 
Our number one Olympian of all time goes to Michael Johnson - the specialist 200m - 400m track runner.

Johnson was virtually unbeatable over 400m and 200m for most of the 1990s. Going into the 1996 Olympic games Johnson had won 54 straight finals at 400m, and had remained unbeaten for seven years. The only thing that stopped him winning gold in 1992 was food poisoning.


However, he won a total of five gold medals during his career, going out at the top with a blistering display in Sydney 2000, becoming the first man ever to retain the 400m gold. He still holds the world record in the event. 


Michael Johnson was a true inspiration to and an incredible athlete. It wouldn't be surprising to see his 400m record stay in tact for another 100 years - he was that good!

If Michael Johnson was the face of a male grooming product, it would be: LYNX - globally renowned, stylish and high in performance.


2. MICHAEL PHELPS (Athens 2004 - London 2012)
 
Michael Phelps is officially the owner of more Olympic medals than any other athlete in history. The 'half-man-half-fish' swimmer won an incredible 6 gold medals at the Athens 2004 Games, a record 8 gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Games and a further flourish of medals at London 2012.

When it comes to being the best at your discipline there has been no one that can rival the amazing achievements of Michael Phelps. A truly great Olympian that hold a record tally of medals that will surely never be achieved again.

If Michael Phelps was the face of a male grooming product, it would be:  Well, he already is - Head & Shoulders Shampoo For Men.

3. JESSE OWENS (Berlin 1936) 
 
Jesse Owens's Olympic success is one of the great sporting stories of triumph over adversity. Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 - a truly remarkable achievement in itself, but even more so when you consider that the black athlete achieved his victories in the swastiker-clad heart of Nazi Germany.

Hitler had confidently hoped that the Berlin Games would prove the superiority of the Nazi Germans but he really couldn't have been more wrong. Owens equalled the Olympic record in the 100m, had the three best jumps in the long jump, and the 4x100m relay team - of which Owens was the anchor man - set a world-record which was to last for 20 years. The one-man Owens show inflicted one of the heaviest defeats of Hitlers reign.


Hitler's humiliation was compounded as the Berlin people took Owens to their hearts. Owens's achievements may not have been enough to turn the German public against the Fuhrer, but to this day there is a street named after him in the city.

If Jessie Owens was the face of a male grooming product, it would be:  Alpecin Shampoo - strong, resilient and defying all possible logic - just like German engineering, funnily enough.

4. SIR STEVE REDGRAVE (LA 1984 - Sydney 2000) 
 

Steve Redgrave is the only Olympian to have won a gold medal at five consecutive games, starting with victory in the coxed fours in Los Angeles in 1984 and culminating with that memorable race in Sydney in 2000.

That final victory in the coxless fours in Australia was made all the more remarkable as Redgrave had spent the past couple of years battling with the effects of diabetes. Yet, at the age of 38, he defied the physical limitations placed on his body to set a landmark achievement that will likely never be surpassed.


Redgrave's achievements are inseparable from those of his long-term partner Matthew Pinsent - who lives in Regdrave's shadow, despite boasting four gold medals. Redgrave was knighted in 2001's new year's honours list.

If Steve Redgrave was the face of a male grooming product, it would be:  Nivea Face Cream For Men - a consistent performer with longevity that seems to produce winning formulas time and time again.

5. MUHAMMAD ALI (Rome 1960)
  
Well, this was a rather easy choice for us - how can you have any greatest sporting list without 'The Greatest' himself gracing it? 

Muhammad Ali has become one of the most infamous Olympians ever, as much for what he did outside of the boxing ring as what he did with the gloves on. Before he had changed his name to Ali, a young Cassius Clay eased to the gold medal in the light-heavyweight division at the Rome games in 1960. However, on his return home Clay was appalled that even with a gold medal around his neck, he and his family wouldn't be served in certain restaurants because of his skin colour.

Though the majority of Ali's fame came outside of Olympic events, the touching moment when Ali lit the 1996 Atlanta flame stays in all our memories forever. A truly great charismatic figure that did so much for boxing and rather a lot outside the ring too.

If Muhammad Ali was the face of a male grooming product, it would be:  Gillette Shaving For Men - consistent, confident, precise, and seen by many as the greatest.

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