Alexei Nemov is one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history. The Russian gymnast’s haul of 12 medals is bettered only by six other athletes, male or female, and his flamboyance and showmanship always made him a crowd favorite.
Nemov first performed on the Olympic stage in the 1996 Atlanta Games, where he won gold medals in the vault and team competition. He narrowly missed a third gold in the all-around after flubbing a tumbling run and settled for the silver. He also won bronzes in the floor, high bar, and pommel horse.
In Sydney, Nemov duplicated his 2-1-3 haul, this time winning golds in the all-around and the high bar, a silver in the floor, and bronzes in team, pommel horse and parallel bar. He competed one last time in Athens, but failed to win a medal, narrowly missing a bronze in the high bar amid boos from the audience, who felt he had done more than enough to merit a podium finish.
Nemov retired after the Athens Games and was given a cash reward by the Russian Olympic Committee for his achievements.
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