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The 15 best American Summer Olympic athletes ever

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16 PHOTOS
Best US Summer Olympians Ever
See Gallery
Best US Summer Olympians Ever

15. Jenny Thompson, Swimming

(AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

14. Matt Biondi, Swimming

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

13. Carmelo Anthony, Basketball

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

12. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Volleyball

 (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

11. Natalie Coughlin, Swimming

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

10. Johnny Weissmueller, Swimming

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

9. Edwin Moses, Track

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

8. Al Oerter, Discus 

 (STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

7. Greg Louganis, Diving

(Pascal Rondeau via Getty Images)

6. Jim Thorpe

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

5. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

4. Mark Spitz, Swimming

(Photo by Graham Morris/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

3. Carl Lewis, Track

(Tony Duffy /Allsport)

2. Jesse Owens, Track

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

1. Michael Phelps, Swimming

(Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)

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The countdown clock to the Rio Olympics is counting down, which means it's time to look back at the heroes of Olympics past.

SEE MORE: Check out full coverage of Rio 2016

From old-time legends like Jesse Owens, to former record holders like Mark Spitz, to today's legends like Michael Phelps, Team USA has had its fair share of terrific performers.

Above, we ranked the 15 best performances by Olympic athletes in Summer Olympic games. Click through to see what we think, and watch the video below for the latest news out of Rio.

TWO BIG NAMES PULL OUT OF TEAM USA BASKETBALL

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