There's something invigorating about watching an underdog rise, especially at the Olympic Games. Finding a way to beat the odds among the greatest athletes on the planet with all the nations' leaders watching is enough to get any audience giddy. "Upsets resonate in the Olympics because the games provide global stages for nations to play out socio-political struggles," says Mark Dyreson, Penn State kinesiology professor and Olympics expert. The biggest shockers at the Olympics frequently include two geopolitical rivals battling to the finish, but just as often they entail an individual rising up to earn a medal. In other cases, a bit of luck is on their side. Here are 10 of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.
Torvill and Dean, Ice Dancing, Sarajevo 1984
The Soviet Union pretty much owned the ice during the 1970s and '80s, including ice dancing, which made its Olympic debut in 1976. Not much was expected from the British duo of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, but the pair etched their names in the record books with a string of perfect 6.0 marks that were never duplicated again under the old scoring system.
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