Question: What links these 3 clues together?
Last Question: Who was the first woman athlete to be on a Wheaties box?
Answer: Mary Lou Retton
Do you believe in miracles? YES! – Al Michaels
Feb 22, 1980: The U.S. defeated the Soviet Union in Olympic ice hockey 4-3.Follow @returntothe80s
At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Ben Johnson reached the 100 meter finals. He would win the bronze behind Carl Lewis and Sam Graddy. He also won the bronze as part of the 4×100 meter relay team.
In 1985, after eight consecutive losses, Johnson finally beat Carl Lewis. He would also go on to beat Lewis at the 1986 Goodwill Games. By the time of the 1987 World Championships, Johnson had won his four previous races with Lewis and had established himself as the best 100 m sprinter. At Rome, Johnson gained instant world fame and confirmed this status when he beat Lewis for the title, setting a new world record of 9.83 seconds as well, beating Calvin Smith’s former record by a full tenth of a second.
Then without naming names, Lewis said “There are a lot of people coming out of nowhere. I don’t think they are doing it without drugs.” He then called on the sport of track and field to start investigating the abuse of steroids.
On September 24 1988, Johnson beat Lewis in the 100m final at the Olympics n Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. However, three days later Johnson was disqualified for testing positive for steroids. Carl Lewis had won the silver, but was bumped up to gold after Johnson’s disqualification.
Ben Johnson was suspended until 1991. Then he attempted a comeback. He had failed to qualify for the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo but made the Canadian Olympic team again in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He did not do very well at the Olympics as he finished last in the semi-finals.
He found success again in 1993 as he won a 50 meter race and was just 0.04 seconds shy of the world record. However, there was a reason why he became successful once again – once again he was found guilty of doping – this time for excess testosterone. He was then banned for life by the IAAF.
In 1999, Johnson made headlines again when it was revealed that he had been hired by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to act as a football coach for his son, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, who wanted to join an Italian soccer/football team. Al-Saadi was able join an Italian team but was fired after one game when he — you guessed it– failed a drug test.Follow @returntothe80s
Greg Louganis dominated the diving world in the ’80s. He won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform. He is the only male and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. He had also been the favorite to win the gold in those events in 1980 as well. However, the U.S. boycotted the Olympics that year as they were held in Cold War-era Moscow.
One of the most memorable images of Greg Louganis was in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul when he suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds while performing a reverse 2½ pike. That did not slow him down though. He earned the highest single score of the qualifying rounds on his next dive, and he would go on to win the Gold.
However, there was controversy after that event. It was discovered that 6 months before the Olympics, Louganis was diagnosed as being HIV positive, which he did not disclose. But his blood in the pool actually posed about zero risk. The blood was diluted by thousands of gallons of water, and “chlorine kills HIV”, said Dr. John Ward, chief of HIV-AIDS surveillance at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 1995, Greg Louganis went on Oprah’s show, and announced to the world that he was gay. It was one of Oprah’s top-rated shows and listed as one of her “25 Most Unforgettable Guests”.
Since November 2010, Louganis has been coaching divers of a wide range of ages and abilities in the SoCal Divers Club in Fullerton, California. He is also a mentor to the US diving team at the London 2012 Olympics.Follow @returntothe80s
Florence Griffith-Joyner is considered to be the “fastest woman of all time” as she holds the world record for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, both set in 1988 and has never been seriously challenged. She was the wife of triple jumper Al Joyner and the sister-in-law of heptathlete and long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
“Flo-Jo” was the big favorite for the titles in the sprint events at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She did not disappoint! She won the Gold in the 100 meters and 200 meters races, as well as the 4×100 meters relay, and she won the Silver in the 4×400 meters relay.
She would go on to win the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Griffith-Joyner retired from competitive sports shortly afterwards.
Then Flo-Jo became the object of controversy. Since her performance had improved dramatically over a short period of time, and her physique changed a lot, she was accused of using performance enhancing drugs. She attributed the change in her physique to new health programs. It turns out that the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission claimed that Joyner was singled out for rigorous drug testing during the 1988 Seoul Olympics because of steroid rumors. And she passed with flying colors. There was not a trace of any performance enhancing drugs in her system.
In 1996, Flo-Jo attempted a comeback, so she could run the 400 meter race, and potentially become a record holder in that event as well, since she had already set world marks in both the 100 and 200 meter events. However, tendonitis in her right leg ended her hopes of becoming a triple world record holder.
Sadly, Flo-Jo died in her sleep on September 21, 1998 from a severe epileptic seizure. She was only 38.
Here is Flo-Jo in action:Follow @returntothe80s
1988 was the last year that NBA players were not allowed to participate. As a result, the Soviet Union took home the Gold, Yugoslavia took home the Silver, and the U.S. rounded out the medals by getting the Bronze.
While there were no NBA players on the U.S. team, there were plenty of future NBA players:
Charles Smith IV
Charles D. Smith
J. R. Reid
And as we know, the 1992 Olympics featured the “Dream Team”, starring Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and (once again) David Robinson.Follow @returntothe80s
Katarina Witt won two Olympic gold medals for East Germany, first in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and the second in 1988 at the Calgary Olympics. She narrowly won the 1984 Olympic title over the favored contender, reigning World champion Rosalynn Sumners of the United States. Witt and Sumners held the top two spots heading into the Olympic free skate, which were worth 50% of the total score. Witt landed three triple jumps in her free skate program, and the judges left room for Sumners to win the event, but Sumners scaled back two of her jumps, and Witt won the long program by one tenth of a point on one judge’s scorecard.
After the 1988 Olympics, Witt became a professional skater. In 1995, she was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In December 1998, Witt posed nude for Playboy magazine. The issue in which these photos were published was the second ever sold-out issue of the magazine. (The first sold-out issue was the inaugural one including photos of Marilyn Monroe.)
Currently, Witt is the bid head for Munich’s bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Here is Katarina’s 1984 Olympic performance:
And here is her 1988 performance: