Kelly Holmes is a retired English middle-distance athlete who specialized in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters events. She won gold medals for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Beginning her career with the British Army, she turned to professional athletics in 1993. She took part in her final major championship in 2004.
Linford Christie is a Jamaican-born British former sprinter who won gold medals in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. He is one of the most highly decorated British athletes of all time. He was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1993.
British middle-distance athlete and neurologist Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes. Before achieving such feat, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres during the 1952 Summer Olympics. In the medical field, Bannister became a neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.
Derartu Tulu is an Ethiopian retired long-distance runner who took part in several events like road running and marathon. She won a gold medal each at the 1992 and 2000 Olympics. She also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. Tulu is also known for winning a gold and silver medal at the World Championships.
Allison Stokke became an internet sensation after a few of her images went viral when she was 17. The talented high-school pole vaulter earned the 2011 All-American honors. She later gained more fame as a fitness model and a sex symbol than as a sportsperson. She also failed her Olympic trials.
Stefka Kostadinova is a Bulgarian former athlete whose world record of 2.09 metres in high jump has stood since 1987. One of the most respected athletes from Bulgaria, Kostadinova has won an Olympic gold medal, two gold medals in World Championships, five gold medals in World Indoor Championships, and four gold medals in European Indoor Championships.
Alexi Pappas is a Greek-American runner, actor, writer, and filmmaker. In 2016, she set the national record for 10,000m at the Rio Olympics where she represented Greece. As a filmmaker, Alexi Pappas is credited with bankrolling and writing Olympic Dreams, the first fictional film to be shot in an Olympic village.
Dwain Chambers is a British track sprinter known to be one of the fastest European sprinters in the history of athletics. He is the European record holder for the 60 meters with 6.42 seconds. He has won gold medals at the world and European levels in different tournaments. He faced a doping ban from 2006 to 2012.
One of the most successful female long-distance runners of her time, Norwegian athlete Ingrid Kristiansen was a World Champion and a European Champion. However, she missed out on an Olympic medal, as she finished 4th in the women’s marathon. She was also a talented cross-country skier in her teens.
Keshorn Walcott is a Trinidadian athlete who participates in the javelin throw. In 2012, he became the first Caribbean male athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in a throwing event. He is also the youngest Olympic gold medalist in men's javelin, having won the medal at the age of 19 years and 131 days.
Andreas Thorkildsen is a Norwegian retired track and field athlete who took part in the javelin throw event. He won two Olympic gold medals, two gold medals at the European Championships and one gold medal at the World Championships. Thorkildsen is the first male javelin thrower to simultaneously be World, European, and Olympic Champion in the history of javelin throw.
Abdul Khaliq was a Pakistani sprinter best remembered for winning 36 international gold medals for Pakistan. He also represented his country at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics. In the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, he won a gold, silver, and bronze medal. Abdul Khaliq also served the Pakistan military and participated in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and 1971.
Santhi Soundarajan grew up amid extreme poverty in a remote Tamil Nadu village in India. The daughter of brick-kiln laborers, she eventually stepped into track and field. In spite of winning a silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, she was disqualified for failing a sex test.
Australian middle-distance runner John Landy was not just an Olympian but also became the second person to clock a sub-4-minute mile barrier in the mile run. He later became the 26th governor of Victoria, penned books, and also worked with ICI Australia. He also inspired the mini-series The Four Minute Mile.
Former Indian athlete Anju Bobby George created history when she became the only Indian to win a World Championship medal in athletics. She excelled in long jump, high jump, relay, and hurdles. The two-time Olympian and Padma Shri winner was born with a single kidney, which she found out in 2001.
Vladimir Stoychev was a Bulgarian diplomat, Colonel General, and Olympic equestrian. As part of the Bulgarian Army, Stoychev took part in the Balkan Wars and the First World War. In the interwar period, Vladimir Stoychev competed at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics as an equestrian. From 1952 to 1987, he served as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Amalie Iuel is a Danish-Norwegian track and field athlete who specializes in 400 meters hurdles. Although she was born in Denmark, Iuel switched her athletic allegiance to Norway in 2015 and represented the country in the 400 meters hurdles event at the IAAF World Championships in 2015. In 2019, Amalie Iuel won a bronze medal at the 2019 Summer Universiade.