MARTINEZ Miguel (1976) France / Cycling
Undoubtedly too young in Atlanta, the small French mountain bike-rider ended up on the third step of the podium. But in Sydney it was a genuine reigning world champion who lined up at the start of the Olympic cross-country event, which he then comfortably won.Despite his small stature and light weight, the man the specialists have dubbed "Miguelito" has mastered the art of mountain biking like no other. It was his father who introduced him to cycling. Mariano Martintez effectively had a glorious professional cycling career in the Seventies, rivalling the great Eddy Merckx in the mountains. His son preferred mountain biking, a sport more in vogue with his generation.