With the United States track team reeling from steroid scandals, sprinters Allyson Felix, Justin Gatlin, and Jeremy Wariner gave a new face to a sport in desperate need of a new image at the 28th Olympic Games. Not only were the young track stars winners. They were also clean, unlike their predecessors who sullied the sport's reputation in the BALCO doping scandal.
The Olympics in 2004 returned to the place where they were born. Athens hosted 11,100 athletes from 202 countries-the largest worldwide athletic arena in both numbers and geographic representation ever assembled. The 17-day sports showcase had its share of doping scandals and medal controversies but also its moments of glory: Iraq's men's soccer team arose from the ashes of war, world swimming records fell, the U.S. women's softball and beach volleyball teams dominated, and China walked away with weightlifting and diving golds to become the second medal winner behind the United States.