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1984 American Cup Highlights

Thanks again to USA Gymnastics for posting these highlight videos!

Here’s a look at the all-around results from that competition:

Men

1.  Peter Vidmar                        59.2

2.  Jim Hartung                        59.0

3.  Yang Yueshan                     58.7

4.  Li Ning                                 58.5

5.  Mitsuaki Watanabe            58.3

6.  Zsolt Borkai                        58.0

7.  Koji Sotomura                    57.4

8.  Casimiro Suarez                  56.95

Women

1.  Mary Lou Retton                  39.50

2.  Laura Cutina                        38.95

3.  Julianne McNamara            38.85

4.  Eugenia Golea                     38.25

5.  Elke Heine                           38.15

5.  Silvia Topalova                    38.15

7.  Hana Ricna                        37.90

8.  Martina Polcrova                 37.15

Mary Lou Retton Bars 1984 American Cup

Mary Lou Retton Beam 1984 American Cup

Mary Lou Retton Floor 1984 American Cup

Julianne McNamara 10.0 on Bars 1984 American Cup

I wish I could find more videos of Peter Vidmar and Jim Hartung from this competition, but for now we’ll have to settle for the highlight video.  It’s so interesting to see how often the American Cup in an Olympic year seems to foreshadow the upcoming Olympic Games.  Mary Lou of course went on to win gold in Los Angeles that summer, while Peter Vidmar, Jim Hartung, and the rest of the U.S. men’s Olympic team went on to defeat the Chinese and Japanese – just as they did here in New York – to win Olympic gold.  Peter Vidmar, ironically, repeated his 10.0 pommel horse score here in the Olympic event finals to win the gold medal there.  And although execution scores were certainly more lenient in those days, the 59+ scores earned by Vidmar and Hartung here proved to be no fluke; Vidmar, Gaylord, and Conner all scored well above 59’s in the Olympic all-around finals, with Vidmar and Gaylord each averaging a 9.9 across all six events…WOW!  Li Ning struggled on parallel bars in this competition, just as he ended up doing in Los Angeles, where he bent his knees on a Stutz and lost a chance for the all-around gold.

The Olympic correlations don’t end there.  Not only did Mary Lou repeat her 10.0 on vault and all-around victory in Los Angeles, but Julianne McNamara repeated her 10.0 on bars and also struggled on beam in the Olympic all-around finals, just as she did here in New York.  Julianne ended up 4th in Los Angeles, behind Retton and two Romanians (Laura Cutina, who finished second in this American Cup, was Romanian as well).

Kind of weird, isn’t it?