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It was the final event of the final day of competition at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.  Thus far, it had been a bit of a disappointing Olympics for the American men.  They had placed a disappointing 6th place as a team.  Scott Keswick was the highest American all-around finisher in 19th place.  Chris Waller placed an impressive 5th in the pommel horse finals, and Jair Lynch placed 6th in the parallel bars finals – both very noteworthy accomplishments, but not quite good enough to bring something shiny home to the United States.

 

The next-to-last performer on high bar would be American Trent Dimas, a gymnast who had been thrilled to grab the 6th and final spot on the Olympic team at the Olympic Trials in Baltimore.  To this point, Trent had had a fairly consistent Olympic Games, with no real standout moments other than qualifying for the high bar finals in 6th place.  His optional qualification score was 9.725, and the top scores at this point in the final were a pair of 9.837’s from Germany’s Andreas Wecker and The Unified Team’s Grigori Misutin.  A repeat 9.725 would once again have put him in 6th place out of the 7 gymnasts who had already competed in the final, and Trent had just struggled somewhat during the warm-up.  It appeared that the United States men were going to return home from Barcelona, Spain with nothing but stories to tell of their somewhat lackluster Olympic experience.

 

Trent Dimas High Bar 1992 Olympics Event Finals

 

 

It will go down as one of the greatest moments in USA men’s gymnastics history.  To this point, those Olympic Games had essentially belonged to The Unified Team’s Vitali Scherbo, who delivered the most dominant individual performance in Olympic gymnastics history, winning a record six gold medals.  But it was an unlikely American man who stole the final one.  Trent Dimas seized his moment in time and stood atop the world in his first and only Olympic Games, transforming the USA men’s 1992 Olympic experience from barren to golden in the blink of an eye.  This, my friends, is what the Olympic Games are all about.