By Tom Degun

Olympic Legends_Map_Sample2March 29 - Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a special Olympic Legends Underground Map to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games featuring icons such as Berlin 1936 four-time gold medallist Jesse Owens as station stops on the map.

To celebrate the Games, the names of 361 tube station stops have been changed to the names of Olympic athletes.

The map (pictured) is a unique interpretation of the official London Underground map in which each line is dedicated to a Summer Olympic sporting discipline such as athletics, basketball, boxing and sailing.

American swimming star Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian of all-time with 14 gold medals, has received the ultimate honour of being the main London 2012 Olympic stop of Stratford.

Nearby Stratford International Station, on the Docklands Light Railway, has been named Cassius Clay after the American boxer who won gold at the Rome 1960 Olympics before changing his name to Muhammad Ali and becoming the greatest heavyweight of all time.

The Underground Olympic Legends Map was designed by Alex Trickett, international editor for the BBC sport website, and sports historian David Brooks.

"We love sport, we love lists and we love London, so what better challenge than to select 361 of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen and to fit them on to our iconic tube map," said the pair in a joint statement.

"There were heated debates and a few late changes of heart, but we are happy with the result: dozens of nations represented, all 2012 Olympic sports accounted for, and Ali and Phelps, two of the greatest Olympians of all time, guarding the Stratford gateways to the Games."

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The new map brings in famous Olympians from a variety of sports, including Spain's 2008 men's tennis singles gold medallist Rafael Nadal, gymnastics great Nadia Comaneci from Romania, Spaniard and five-time Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain and 1992 US Dream Team basketball players Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

"The map not only celebrates multiple gold medal winning athletes but also features other extraordinary athletes who may not have won an Olympic gold medal but are recognised for their abilities or in some cases, famous defeats," said TfL.

Non-winning representatives include Zola Budd, the South African who controversially competed for Britain at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, and Mary Decker from the US, who she collided with and missed out on medals despite both being predicted to finish on the podium.

The key stop of Liverpool Street is now called Carl Lewis after the American athletics legend, while Oxford Circus is Ian Thorpe after the Australian swimmer.

Leicester Square has become LeBron James, after the American basketball player and Knightsbridge is Steve Redgrave named after Britain's legendary rower.

Click here to see the Olympic Legends Map in more detail. 

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