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Updated: 2006-08-25 16:32

At the 19th Olympiad in Mexico City in 1968, the city's altitude helped sprinters at the Games set world records in virtually all of the competition's short distance events. Running at 2,300 meters above sea level, American sprinter Jim Hines won the 100m dash in a world record time of 9.95 seconds, then went on to help win the 100m relay and set another world record in the process. Lee Evans, also of the U.S., did the same thing in the 400m dash and relay, collecting a pair of gold medals and world records himself.

In the long jump, America's Bob Beamon leaped into the record books with a jump of 8.9 meters-his name would remain there for the next 22 years. For all the athletes who set records at the Games, however, perhaps the most impressive was one who didn't set any. Despite having had her country invaded by the Soviet Union just two months prior to the start of the Games and having spent part of that time in hiding, Czech gymnast Vera Casalyska won six medals at the Games, four of them gold. In the medal count, the U.S. trumped the U.S.S.R. 107-91.