15 Most Clutch Performances in U.S. Summer Olympic History

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15 Most Clutch Performances in U.S. Summer Olympic History
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Olympic glory is a one-shot deal and, as such, the Games make a perfect stage for clutch performances.

For most athletes, the Olympic career arc looks something like this:

You go. You take your result, good or bad. You accept that four years from now someone younger, faster and stronger will have relegated you to competitive obsolescence.

Imagine then the strength of mind it takes to perform at one's best in the context of such finality.

Consider what the following American athletes had to overcome, both within and without, to become their very best selves when the moment demanded it.

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