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Olympic Series Golden Moments 1920-2002

Other // Unrated // May 4, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by David Blair | posted August 30, 2004 | E-mail the Author

The Movie



Today with so much attention focused on medal counts, banned
substances, and judging errors, it's easy to forget what the
Olympics are really about. It's easy to dismiss the achievements
of our greatest athletes when controversies and scandals arise
daily. It's easy to let these amazing moments slip from of our
memories; these magical moments which define not only the spirit
of the Olympic games, but also the magnificent participants who
dared to dream. The Olympic Series - Golden Moments 1920-2002
is a window into the past reminding us of these moments, showing
us that the Olympic Games are much more than a political stage
for our respective countries and world leaders. And it reiterates
that when flags and national politics are erased it's really
about the athletes and their desire to be the best.



The Olympic Series - Golden Moments 1920-2002 is a
three-disc set that gives us six and a half hours of amazing
Olympic moments. These moments span the entire spectrum, ranging
from events in track & field, cycling, speed skating, even
equestrian. And if you're a true Olympics fan you'll appreciate
all the achievements featured on this set no matter what your
personal preference.



Throughout this set you won't find mushy sentimental profile
stories, and you won't have to sit through long and often boring
segments you would otherwise care less about. Because each disc
is filled with short, narrated video clips of Olympic moments
that rarely go longer than three minutes time. The pacing is
quick and action constant, so you'll most likely forget you have
a forward search button on your remote. But, just in case you
want to move past a particular moment, each one is its own
chapter, making skipping easy.



However, the briefness of these moments, although greatly
appreciated, can be an annoyance as well. I found several
instances where I wanted to see the performance in its entirety
but was denied because the event took longer than thirty seconds.
Instead we're shown tightly edited portions of the event, which
in many cases causes us to miss out on the drama and uniqueness
of the moment. I suppose this is to be expected, as this is a set
about golden moments, not golden performances, but I still would
have liked to see certain moments given more screen time than
others.



Besides this one personal gripe, this set is fascinating and
enjoyable. I caught myself smiling and shaking my head in awe
during almost every segment, and it gave me a new appreciation
for the relentless hard work these athletes willingly subject
themselves to in order to achieve their ultimate goals. I also
enjoyed seeing the older faces of some of the athletes during the
interviews, and it was interesting to hear their perspective of
how the moments unfolded and what it meant to them. In addition,
I developed gratitude for the early pioneers of the Games, and
found myself asking the question, "If these athletes had the
amenities of today, would they be as good as today's
athletes?" And my answer, even though world records continue
to fall every year, was "most likely."



While every featured moment has its place in the history books,
there were still a few that shined brighter than the others, such
as Dick Fosbury's legendary gold medal performance in 1968 in
which his (then) comical backwards-style leap changed the course
of high jumping forever, Romania's Nadia Comaneci and her
ground-breaking seven perfect 10's in gymnastic in 1976, Mark
Spitz seven swimming Olympic gold medals and seven world records
in 1972, and Bob Beamon's seemingly inhuman-like world record
leap of 29 feet 2 ΒΌ inches in the long jump in 1968, a record
which stood for over twenty years. But if I had to pick one
moment that truly defined what the Olympics are all about, my
vote goes to the relationship formed in 1936 between black
American sprinter/long jumper Jesse Owens and Germany's Lutz
Lang. At a time when racism and hatred were at its highest, two
athletes from two drastically different cultures developed a
forbidden bond, cementing forever in time the true spirit of
the Olympic games. They proved that through the love of sport and
competition all barriers could be broken, and at the base of
every person's soul one can find a commonality of respect and
admiration, no matter what the color of their skin.



Here is a breakdown of what you will find on this set:



Disc 1 - The Spirit Of The Olympics

The Olympic Spirit

Vladimir Salnikov - Soviet Union - Swimming, 1500m - 1977 &
1986

Dick Fosbury - U.S.A. - High Jump - 1968

Francisco Fernandez Ochoa - Spain - Slalom - 1972

Colette Besson - France - Athletics, 400m - 1968

Jeff Blatnick - U.S.A. - Grecco-Roman Wrestling - 1984

Lynn Davis - Great Britain - Long Jump - 1964

Yvonne Van Gennip - Netherlands - Speed Skating, 500m/3000m/1500m
- 1984

John Akii-Bua - Uganda - Hurdles, 400m - 1968

Kerrin Lee Gartner - Canada - Downhill Skiing - 1992

Billy Mills - U.S.A. - Athletics, 10,000m - 1964



National Pride

Teofilo Stevenson - Cuba - Heavyweight Boxing - 1972

Anthony Nesty - Surinam - Swimming, 100m Butterfly - 1988

Hassiba Boulmerka - Algeria - Athletics, 1500m - 1992

Yukio Kasaya - Japan - Ski Jump, 70m - 1972

Jean Claude Killy - France - Alpine Skiing - 1968

Naim Suleymanoglu - Turkey - Weightlifting - 1988

Felipe Munoz - Mexico - Swimming, 200m Breaststroke - 1968

Paraskevi Patoulidou - Greece - Hurdles, 100m - 1992

Ulrike Meyfarth - Germany - High Jump - 1972

U.S.A. vs. Soviet Union - Ice Hockey - 1980



Emotional Celebrations

Paavo Nurmi - Finland - Long Distance Run - 1920 & 1924

Edwin Moses - U.S.A. - Hurdles, 400m - 1976 & 1984

Nigerian Women's Relay Team - 4x100m - 1992

Greg Louganis - U.S.A. - Diving - 1988

Alberto Tomba - Italy - Alpine Skiing - 1988

Kim Young Nan - South Korea - Grecco-Roman Wrestling - 1988

Brazilian Men's Volleyball Team - 1992

Bruce Jenner - U.S.A. - Decathlon - 1976

Bjorn Dahlie - Norway - Nordic Skiing - 1992

Derata Tulu (Ethiopia) / Elana Meyer (South Africa) - Athletics,
10,000m - 1988



Personal Achievements

Carl Lewis - U.S.A. - Athletics, 100m - 1988

Yasuhrio Yamashita - Japan - Judo - 1980

Irina Rodnina - U.S.S.R. - Figure Skating - 1972, 1976 & 1980

Murray Halberg & Peter Snell - New Zealand - Athletics, 5000m
& 800m - 1960

Dawn Fraser - Australia - Swimming - 100m - 1956

Wilma Rodolph - U.S.A. - Athletics, 100m - 1960

Kip Keino - Kenya - Athletics, 1500m - 1968

Ingemar Stenmark - Sweden - Giant Slalom - 1980

Bonnie Blair - U.S.A. - Speed Skating, 500m - 1988

Sohn Kee-Chung (1936) Hwang Young-Cho (1992) - South Korea -
Marathon



Disc 2 - The Winter Games

A Winter's Tale

Oksana Baiul - Ukraine - Figure Skating - 1994

Hjalmar Andersen - Norway - Speed Skating - 1952

Hanni Wenzel - Liechtenstein - Alpine Skiing - 1980

Scott Hamilton - U.S.A. - Figure Skating - 1980

Vladimir Smirnov - Kazakhstan - Nordic Skiing - 1994

Billy Fisher - U.S.A. - Bobsleigh - 1928 & 1932

Cathy Turner - U.S.A. - Speed Skating, Short Track - 1992

Phil & Steve Mahre - U.S.A. - Alpine Skiing - 1984

Maurilio De Zolt - Italy - Nordic Skiing - 1988 & 1992

Gordeeva & Grinkov - U.S.S.R./ Russia - Figure Skating - 1988



Winter Superstars

Torville & Dean - Great Britain - Figure Skating - 1984

Lydia Skoblikova - U.S.S.R. - Speed Skating - 1960

Franz Klammer - Austria - Alpine Skiing - 1976

Steffi Martin Walter - East Germany - Luge - 1984

Christa Luding Rothenburger - East Germany - Speed Skating - 1988

Raisa Smetanina - U.S.S.R. - Nordic Skiing - 1976

Ludmilla & Oleg Protopopov - U.S.S.R. - Figure Skating - 1976

Vreni Schneider - Switzerland - Alpine Skiing - 1988

Ard Schenk - Netherlands - Speed Skating - 1972

Matti Nykanen - Finland - Ski Jumping - 1984 & 1988



Winter Heroes

East German Men's Bobsleigh Team - 1988 & 1994

Andrea Mead Lawrence - U.S.A. - Alpine Skiing - 1952

Magnar Solberg - Norway - Biathlon - 1960

Dick Button - U.S.A. - Figure Skating - 1948 & 1952

Jure Franko - Yugoslavia - Alpine Skiing - 1984

Richard "Terry" McDermott - U.S.A. - Speed Skating -
1964

Donna Weinbrecht - U.S.A. - Freestyle Skiing - 1992

Kenji Ojiwara - Japan - Nordic Skiing - 1992

Bill Johnson - U.S.A. - Alpine Skiing - 1984

U.S.S.R. Men's Ice Hockey Team - 1956 & 1972



Salt Lake City 2002

Janica Kostelic - Croatia - Alpine Skiing

Jim Shea - U.S.A. - Skeleton

Chris Witty - U.S.A. - Speed Skating

Great Britain - Curling

Ole Bjorndalen - Norway - Biathlon

Ales Valenta - Czech Republic - Freestyle Skiing

Sarah Hughes - U.S.A. - Figure Skating

Steven Bradbury - Australia - Short Track



Disc 3 - Olympic Highlights

Sydney 2000

Cathy Freeman - Australia - Athletics, 400m

Xiong Ni - China - Springboard

Men's Soccer Team - Cameroon

Australia Swimming Team - 4x100m Relay

Leontien Zijaard - Netherlands - Cycling

Alexei Nemov - Russia - Gymnastics

Rulon Gardner - U.S.A. - Wrestling

Steve Redgrave - Great Britain - Rowing

Haile Gebrsellasie - Ethiopia - Athletics, 10,000m

Felix Savon - Cuba - Boxing



Closeness Of Victory

Sergei Bubka - Soviet Union - Pole Vault - 1988

Herb McKenley - Jamaica - Athletics, 400m & 4x400m - 1948

Olga Korbut - Soviet Union - Gymnastics - 1972

Greg Barton - U.S.A. - Kayak - 1988

Eugenio Monti - Italy - Bobsleigh - 1956 & 1968

Georg Hackl - Germany - Luge - 1992 & 1994

Mark Todd - New Zealand - Equestrian - 1984 & 1988

Otis Davis - U.S.A. - Athletics, 400m & 4x400m - 1960

Connie Carpenter-Phinney - U.S.A. - Cycling Road Race - 1984

U.S.S.R. Basketball Team - 1972



Rivalry

Emil Mimoun & Alain Zatopek - France - Athletics, 500m &
10,000m - 1952

Sebastian Coe & Steve Ovett (Great Britain) - Athletics, 800m
& 1500m - 1980

Katarina Witt (East Germany) & Debi Thomas (U.S.A.) - Figure
Skating - 1988

Erika Salumae (Soviet Union) & Christa Luding-Rothenburger
(East Germany) - Cycling - 1000m - 1988

Horace Ashenfelter (U.S.A.) & Vladimir Kazantsev (Russia) -
Steeplechase, 3000m - 1952

Rafter Johnson (U.S.A.) &Yang Chuan-Kwang (Taiwan) -
Decathlon - 1960

The D'inzeo Brothers (Italy) - Equestrian - 1956

The Goitshel Sisters (France) - Alpine Skiing - 1964

Brian Orser (Canada) & Brian Boitano (U.S.A.) - Figure
Skating - 1988

Daley Thompson (Great Britain) & Jurgen Hingsen (West
Germany) - Decathlon - 1984



Crossing The Line

Harold Abraham & Eric Liddell - Great Britain - Athletics,
400m, 100m & Long Jump - 1924

Abebe Bikila - Ethiopia - Marathon - 1960

Shirley Strickland - Australia - Hurdles, 100m/4x100m Relay -
1948 & 1952

Fermin Cacho Ruiz - Spain - Athletics, 1500m - 1992

Peggy Fleming - U.S.A. - Figure Skating - 1948 & 1960

Deiter Baumann - Germany - Athletics, 5000m - 1980

Jackie Joyner Kersee - U.S.A. - Heptathlon - 1988

Chris Boardman - Great Britain - Cycling - 1992

Rosi Mittermaier - Germany - Alpine Skiing - 1976

Spanish Men's Soccer Team - 1992



Breaking The Record

Mark Spitz - U.S.A. - Swimming - 1972

Toni Sailer - Austria - Alpine Skiing - 1956

Johann Olaf Koss - Norway - Speed Skating - 1994

Nadia Comaneci - Romania - Gymnastics - 1976

Irena Szewinska - Poland - Long Jump/4x100m Relay/200m 1964, 1968
& 1972

Vassily Alekseyev - U.S.S.R. - Weightlifting - 1976

Herb Elliott - Australia - Athletics, 1500m - 1960

Kevin Young - U.S.A. - Hurdles, 400m - 1992

Lee Evans - U.S.A. - Athletics, 400m - 1968

Bob Beamon - U.S.A. - Long Jump - 1968



Supreme Achievements

Kristin Otto - East Germany - Swimming - 1988

Erik Heiden - U.S.A. - Speed Skating - 1980

Al Oeter - U.S.A. - Discus - 1956 & 1968

Fanny Blankers Koen - Netherlands - Athletics, 100m &
200m/Hurdles, 80m/4x100m Relay - 1948

Laszlo Papp - Gymnastics - 1952 & 1968

Emil Zatopek - Czechoslovakia - Athletics, 5000m &
10,000m/Marathon - 1952

Birger Ruud - Norway - Ski Jump - 1924 & 1936

Sonja Henie - Norway - Figure Skating - 1924 & 1936

Jesse Owens - U.S.A. - Athletics, 100m & 200m/4x100m/Long
Jump - 1936



The Medal Ceremony

Florence Griffith Joyner - U.S.A. - Athletics, 100m &
200m/4x100m - 1988

Dan Jansen - U.S.A. - Speed Skating, 500m & 1000m - 1988
& 1992

Josy Barthel - Luxembourg - Athletics, 1500m - 1952

Linford Christie - Great Britain - Athletics, 100m - 1988

Christl Cranz - Germany - Combined Alpine - 1936

Alberto Juantorena - Cuba - Athletics, 400m & 800m - 1976

Ellen Van Langen - Netherlands - Athletics, 800m - 1992

The Dream Team - U.S.A. - Basketball - 1992





The DVD



Video:

The Olympic Series - Golden Moments 1920-2002 is presented in 4x3
fullscreen and is, for the most part, a passable video transfer.
However this is only the case if you are viewing via a smaller tube
TV, as pixelation can be awful at times, and jagged boarders run
rampant throughout the entire presentation. Thankfully, edge
enhancement was not visible, but this wasn't enough to offset the
overall less than average transfer.



Keep in mind most of the video clips come from varying sources
and range from new to ancient, as some clips were filmed back
when motion pictures were first invented. So expect some segments
to look better than others. Having said this, I was still amazed
to see just how wonderful some of the older moments looked on DVD
(on a smaller TV), and I'm certain this is the first time many of
these Olympic performances have been transferred to DVD.



I'd strongly recommend against watching this DVD set on a large
projection system. However, this set is easily viewable on
smaller to average sized tube TV's, as well as some smaller
projection sets.



Audio:

Here we're treated with a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio
track. The 5.1 audio separation capability is wasted on this
presentation, as all of the sound comes from the front three
speakers. It would have been nice to feel immersed in the crowd's
cheers inside the various Olympic stadiums, but unfortunately
this is never the case. But, for this type of release, I really
have no complaints in terms of the way it sounds. Narration and
athlete interviews are easily heard, exactly meeting my
expectations.



Extras:

There are no extras features included in this set.



Final Thoughts:

The Olympic Series - Golden Moments 1920-2002 proved to
be as much a history lesson as it did a form of entertainment.
And if not for this fabulous DVD set, I would have never seen
most of these remarkable moments in Olympic history. The brief
video clips are easy to watch, and the chapter interface is
simple, allowing for quick navigation from moment to moment. If
you love the Olympics and you don't mind viewing some of its
greatest moments in a Reader's Digest sort of way, this set is
for you. Recommended.









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