Running is a sport where relative success matters. A single group of striving runners can contain an individual for whom running at the pace of the pack is an act of utter laziness, and next to him or her, an individual for whom keeping up with that same pack is a heroic effort.
But as with the creation of any tradition, the first few unsure steps can be the most difficult, and the most formative. These men and women who performed at a higher level than any other person from their countries ever has, deserve mention as true Olympians.
Take, for example,
Three weeks prior to the Beijing Games, Nieuwendam moved to Ft. Lauderdale, where she will take advantage of a scholarship that was arranged for her because of her track potential to St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the alma mater of U.S. 400 bronze medalist
And how about
It figured that Tuvalu's
And then there was
Below are the names, events, and marks -- in meters, for throws and jumps -- for all 103 Olympians who, as individuals and as part of relay teams, set their nation's bar higher.
Usain Bolt, Jamaica, 19.30
Tabarie Henry, U.S. Virgin Islands, 45.36 Kevin Borlee, Belgium, 44.88 Henry Brenes, Costa Rica, 44.94