Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your 1984 Olympic History?

U.S. Air Force

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 28. THIRTY years ago, most of the world’s best athletes gathered in the Los Angeles Coliseum to open the 23rd edition of the Summer Olympic Games. It would be marked by the absence of the Eastern bloc countries that were boycotting the competition, partly in response to the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow.

One of the primary changes in the look of the Olympics was the corporate feel. McDonalds was a major host of the competition, and the facility used for aquatic sports was named the McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Several legendary names competed in these Games, and not just in the pool. It was the place where Edwin Moses, Carl Lewis, Greg Louganis, Rowdy Gaines, Tracy Caulkins and Mary Lou Retton became stars.

Today, we want to test your knowledge of the 1984 Olympics with 10 questions. Try not to scour the Internet for the answers. How much do you know your Olympic history? Answers can be found at the bottom of the page.

Question 1: How many other cities bid for the hosting duties of the 1984 Summer Olympics?

Question 2: In what year did Los Angeles previously host the Summer Olympics?

Question 3: What happened to the facility that held the aquatic sports competitions?

Question 4: Which country led the move to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympic Games?

Question 5: Who was the first legally deaf American swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympics?

Question 6: Who was the head coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic swimming team?

Question 7: Who was the head coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic swimming team?

Question 8: How many swimmers per country were allowed in each swimming event?

Question 9: In what event did the first gold medal tie in swimming take place?

Question 10: Who was called the Albatross?

Answer to question 1: Tehran, the capital of Iran, expressed interest in hosting the Olympics, but withdrew its bid as political and social tensions continued to grow in the region. Los Angeles was awarded the Games by default.

Answer to question 2: Los Angeles previously hosted the Olympics in 1932.

Answer to question 3: The pools that held the swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming events are still in use on the campus of the University of Southern California. Until this year, the facility was collectively known as the McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Now, the official name is the Uytengsu Aquatic Center.

Answer to question 4: The Soviet Union led the Eastern bloc boycott of the Summer Olympics. Though the official statement said the boycott came from concerns about security, the general belief was that it was a response to the Americans staying away from Moscow in 1980.

Answer to question 5: Jeff Float won a gold medal as part of the 800 freestyle relay.

Answer to question 6: Don Gambril

Answer to question 7: Don Gambril

Answer to question 8: Two per country were allowed per event in swimming. The 1984 Olympics was the first time this rule took effect after many years of allowing three per country. Many nations, including the United States, swept the medal stand in previous Olympics due to the old rule.

Answer to question 9: In the women’s 100 freestyle final, Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer posted times of 55.92 to share the gold medal.

Answer to question 10: Michael Gross was dubbed “The Albatross” because of his long wingspan that stretched nearly seven feet wide.

Stay tuned to Swimming World for more Olympic retrospectives throughout the week!

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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