For those that don't follow track and field it might be difficult to understand just how impressive Michael Johnson's 200m world record was. Set in 1996, there were many that suggested at the time that it would never be beat. That he had reached the peak performance possible by humans.
A couple years ago I was involved in a discussion on the Internet forum SportsJournalists.com on the topic of what was the most impressive athletic performance the posters had ever seen. Keep in mind that, although a public web page, SportsJournalists.com is a pretty exclusive club. Many of the biggest names in sports writing read and comment on the board. So, it was a group that had collectively seen a lot of big sports events. Although there were a lot of suggestions, one of the few that received widespread attention was 19.32 seconds, Johnson's time in Atlanta.
I guess they have a new performance to consider. By running 19.30 Usain Bolt has become the man of the Olympics. That doesn't discount what Phelps did. No, it simply glorifies what Bolt is doing (and the Jamaican 4X100m team is going to be something to watch).
What is the greatest individual sporting accomplishment you have ever seen?