I’m going to handle track and field on Monday — some dramatic stuff happened that day in 1984! — so here, I’m keeping it to Mary Lou Retton and the U.S. men’s gymnastics team, each a winner of the country’s first-ever gold, and some swimming tossed in for good measure. Yes, friends, that means we’re getting preternaturally enthusiastic commentator Rowdy Gaines’s swimmer abs.
The swimming was, in fact, fascinating this year. Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer tied for gold in the women’s 100-meter free – that’s here, and it starts at the 6 minute mark — and the men’s 4×200 free relay had a finish to rival Jason Lezak vs. Alain Bernard in 2008. The entire event, called by Jim Lampley and Mark Spitz (with Gainesian enthusiasm), is here:
Jump to the 6:07 mark to see the end of the third leg, and just how far the U.S. was ahead at the 550-meter turn. And then Michael “The Albatross” Gross of West Germany surged into the pool to swim against Bruce Hayes of the U.S. For reference, this world-record swim of 7:15.69 compares to today thusly: The current record, held by the U.S., is 6:58.55. Treat yourself to some sports goosebumps.