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10 Amazing Olympic Firsts from London 2012

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Bolt of Lightning

The 2012 Olympics in London has come and gone. The Games brought forth excitement, heartbreak and a lot of firsts—from record-breaking times to amazing feats of longevity. Here's a look back at our favorite firsts from these memorable Summer Games.

Usain Bolt continued his unprecedented dominance of the Games' glamour events, the sprints, becoming the first sprinter to earn a “double-double” — back-to-back golds in both the 100m and 200m sprints.

Double-amputee competes

Oscar Pistorius didn’t even have to make an Olympic final to make history.  Named one of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Pistorius made history as the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic games.  Overcoming his disability to run with some of the world’s fastest men, the South African native reached the semi-final of the men’s 400m. His participation should mark a watershed moment in parathlete history, since it proved to the world that a disabled athlete can and should be taken seriously.

Rewriting the Record Books

104 Olympic records and 38 world records were broken at these Games in Archery, Track and Field, Swimming (including Missy Franklin's world record in the 200m backstroke), Cycling, Weightlifting, Shooting and Rowing. The Rowing world record was set in Men's Coxless Pair. Not sure about this, but the name has to discourage participation in the event, don’t you think?

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Leading Ladies

Women made history at these Games. For the first time, every competing nation had female team members.

Golden Girl Gabby

Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win all around gymnastics gold.

Shooting Star

Skeet and double trap shooter Kim Rhode became the only American competitor to win medals for an individual event in five consecutive Olympics. In London, Rhode tied the world record with a score of 99 out of 100 in skeet shooting.

Kayla Impressive

Kayla Harrison became the first American ever to win a judo medal, taking gold in the 78 kg division. Harrison was one of the most compelling stories of these games, having overcome a history of sexual abuse by a former coach.

Medal Man

Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, earning four gold and two silver medals for a mind-boggling career total of 22 medals, 18 of them gold.