Havlicek stole the ball (1965): with time running out and the Boston Celtics holding a one-point lead in a seventh game of an NBA playoff series, Hal Greer of the Philadelphia 76ers must get the ball to a teammate for an attempt at the winning basket. Boston's John Havlicek appears from nowhere to deflect the inbound pass.
Immaculate Reception (1972): again, time running out, the Pittsburgh Steelers trail the Oakland Raiders by one point, with a fourth-and-ten situation in their own territory. Terry Bradshaw's pass bounces off a gaggle of contenders and is caught by Pittsburgh running back Franco Harris – like Havlicek appearing out of nowhere – who runs for the winning touchdown.
Billy Mills wins the Olympic 10K (1964): Another fabled coming-out-of-nowhere in the last seconds of an event. The greatest finishing kick in long-distance-running history, so absurd in its dimensions that the announcer almost loses it.
Nadia Comaneci on the parallel bars (1976): The best way to appreciate this is perhaps to watch an ordinary young gymnast on the same equipment, and then to click on Comaneci's memorable perfect routine at the Montreal Olympic Games.
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