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.
When “We Are the World” was released in the Spring of 1985, I was a junior at Georgia Southern College. (Now Georgia Southern University)
There had never been anything like “We Are the Wold” and to date nothing has ever replicated it.
Recorded by many of the music industries top artists, the song was recorded with the entire chorus in-studio together just after the American Music Awards. During the months leading up to “We Are the World” the continent of Africa had been decimated by drought and thousands of people had died.
As a result the fund-raising effort “USA FOR AFRICA” was formed.
This was the first world-wide call to action, in support of a cause like the ones we see so frequently today. All monies raised by record and cassette sales (yes, you had to go to a store and BUY music back in the dark-aged 80’s) went directly to the relief efforts.
The song played constantly on the radio and I remember laying by the pool, at the apartment complex I lived in, and each time it would air, 40, 50 and sometimes more of us would break into song.
Those were great days, when I hear this song I think back on great friendships and fun days in the sun singing for a cause.
Enjoy the song and see how many artists you recognize!