On this date in 1984, the United States Men’s Gymnastics team climbed to the top of the mountaintop by winning the Olympic Team Gold Medal.
The Olympics which were held in Los Angeles, were boycotted by the Soviet Union in retaliation for the US boycott of 1980.
The United States team became instant celebrities. The team consisted of Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Mitch Gaylord, James Hartung, Scott Johnson and Peter Vidmar.
In the spring following the Olympics, I attended a Public Relations Student Society of America conference in Detroit along with a group of my fellow students from Georgia Southern.
At the conference, Bart Conner was our Keynote Speaker, he was gracious and kind; his words were inspiring.
The victory by the 1984 Men’s Team, placed a new spotlight on men’s gymnastic in the US and their legacy continues today through their work in coaching and commentary.
On this date in 1976, Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic history to score a perfect 10 in competition.
Scoreboards during the Games weren’t prepared for such a feat, when her score popped up as 1.00, the audience was outraged, until they were told the decimal point was static and couldn’t be moved.
For the entire competition, each of Nadia’s perfect scores was reflected as a 1.00, instead of 10.0.
That summer the world embraced Nadia, a product of the Romanian sports development system.
At just 14 years old, Nadia became a household name and scored a total of seven perfect scores in the Montreal Olympics.
After the Games of 76, she competed in the 80 Moscow Games and capped her career with nine Olympic medals.
In 1989, Nadia defected from Romania and ended up in the United States where she married American gymnast Bart Conner.
Now an American citizen and gymnastics coach, Nadia Comaneci is 55 years old.