Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.
In another Games affected by non-sporting issues, Romanian 14-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci caused a sensation on the uneven bars when she was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0.
Drugs reared their head with the biggest scandal of modern times when sprinter Canadian Ben Johnson was disqualified after winning the 100m with a new world record time.
A revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports but a record 140 nations still took part as American sprinter Carl Lewis stole the show with four gold medals.
Generally considered to be the best-ever Games as Britain's Steve Redgrave became a hero.
The most populous nation on the planet was finally given the chance to host the world's biggest event.
The Olympics returned to its spiritual home of Athens in 2004 despite initial fears they wouldn't be ready.
A terrorist bomb blast failed to stop the Games as Michael Johnson and his golden shoes ran away with three golds and a world record.
Another boycott, led by the USA against the invasion of Afghanistan, reduced the number of participating nations to 80 while on the track their was drama between Seb Coe and Steve Ovett.
The tragic events at the Olympic Village completely overshadowed American swimmer Mark Spitz's incredible seven gold medals to go with the two he had earned in 1968.
Mexico saw Bob Beamon leap into history while it was also the birthplace of the Fosbury flop - the high jump style perfected by American Dick Fosbury which also won him a gold medal.
The first Games to be held in Asia had a poignant opening ceremony involving Yoshinori Sakai, who was born in Hiroshima the day the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb in WW2.
More than 50 years after giving up their chance to host the Olympics, Italy finally got their opportunity and these were the Games at which the greatest boxing star of all time was born.
These were the first Games to be held in the southern hemisphere but strict quarantine laws prevented foreign horses entering the country so the equestrian events were held in Stockholm.
Czechoslovakian long-distance runner Emil Zatopek became the only person in Olympic history to win the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the same Olympics.
After a 12-year absence due to World War II the Olympics returned, and although London was called upon at short notice they produced a stunning effort given the circumstances.
Berlin saw the introduction of the torch relay but the Games were infamous for Adolf Hitler's failed attempt to use them to prove his theories of Aryan racial superiority.
The Great Depression meant the number of competitors was half what it had been four years previously but 18 world records were broken at the 16-day event - shorter than ever before.
At the opening ceremony the Olympic protocol of Greece, the birthplace of the modern Games, leading the parade of nations with the host country marching in last was established.
The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" was introduced, as was the closing ceremony ritual of raising the flags of the IOC, the host nation and the next host nation.
The 1916 Olympics were scheduled to be held in Berlin but were cancelled because of WW1 and the 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering Belgian people.
The Swedish hosts introduced the use of unofficial electronic timing devices for the track events, as well as the first use of a public address system.
The 1908 Olympics saw athletes march into the opening ceremony by nation for the first time and by the end of the Games Great Britain had topped the medal table.
In an effort to reinvigorate the Olympics after the lack-lustre Games of 1900 and 1904, Greece organised the "interim Olympics" but they weren't officially recognised by the IOC.
Once again the Olympic competitions were spread out over four and a half months although these Games were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded.
The Games were held as part of the Paris World's Fair and events were spread over five months with less emphasis on their Olympic status.
The revival of the ancient Olympics attracted athletes from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Greece, Germany and France.