Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 11, 1984
Date Finished: August 12, 1984
Format: 10 metre platform.
It was Beamonesque – Greg Louganis ’s gold medal in this event, that is. You cannot summarize it more clearly than did the 1984 Olympic edition of Swimming World, which noted, “1) He became the first man ever to score over 700, shattering the all-time best he set in the prelims of 688.05 and bettering the record prior to the Olympics of 687.90, a score he did at the 1983 FINA World Cup; 2) He won the platform by the largest margin in Olympic history, finishing 67.41 points ahead of teammate Bruce Kimball, the silver medalist. 3) He became the first male diver to sweep the Olympic diving events since Pete Desjardins of the USA in 1928 and only the third [male] ever. Louganis averaged a score of over 8.9 per dive. He never received a counting score under 8 and didn't have a counting score under 9 on seven of his 10 dives.” His coach, Ron O’Brien, said, “It was absolutely the most dominating diving display in history. Some reporter asked me to compare it to a performance in another sport. I'd say it's like someone going 30 feet in the long jump or running the 100 meters in 9.5.”
Bruce Kimball’s silver medal was not unexpected but was a major comeback for a man whose life was a soap opera. A platform specialist, he had been bronze medalist at the 1982 World Championships and silver medalist behind Louganis at the 1983 Pan American Games. These occurred after a car accident in 1981 when he was struck head-on by a drunk driver and suffered multiple injuries, including several facial fractures, a broken femur, torn knee ligaments, a lacerated liver, and his spleen had to be removed. He was called “The Comeback Kid” for his efforts to return to the tower.
Kimball also won a bronze medal at the 1986 World Championships. He was expected to medal again at the 1988 Olympics until 1 August 1988 when he went to a bar and had about 12 beers. By then Kimball was drinking a lot and using cocaine. After leaving the bar he got in his car and was speeding down a road in Florida, where he had been training, when he plowed the car into a group of teenagers, killing two instantly, and injuring several others quite severely. He later pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 17 years in prison, of which he served five, and he permanently lost his driver’s license. Kimball actually competed at the 1988 US Olympic Trials, which was quite controversial, but did not make the team.
Chinese diver Li Kongzheng won the bronze medal followed by his teammate Tong Hui. Their coach Xu Yiming was unhappy that they did not win gold or silver and said of Louganis, “[He] is an excellent diver but has his shortcomings and new divers will solve those and pass him.” Nobody was quite sure what those shortcomings were.
|1||Greg Louganis||24||United States||USA||Gold|
|2||Bruce Kimball||21||United States||USA||Silver|
|5||Albin Killat||23||West Germany||FRG|
|6||Dieter Dörr||27||West Germany||FRG|
|7||Chris Snode||25||Great Britain||GBR|
|10||Miguel Angel Zavala||23||Mexico||MEX|
|11||Jon Grunde Vegard||26||Norway||NOR|
|13 QR||José Luis Rocha||18||Mexico||MEX|
|14 QR||Bob Morgan||17||Great Britain||GBR|
|15 QR||Masashi Nakashima||22||Japan||JPN|
|16 QR||César Henderson||Dominican Republic||DOM|
|17 QR||Isao Yamagishi||17||Japan||JPN|
|18 QR||Domenico Rinaldi||25||Italy||ITA|
|19 QR||Tom Lemaire||24||Belgium||BEL|
|20 QR||Park Jong-Ryong||22||South Korea||KOR|
|21 QR||Luis Diéguez||17||Spain||ESP|
|22 QR||Abdullah Abuqrais||25||Kuwait||KUW|
|23 QR||Said Daw||24||Egypt||EGY|
|24 QR||Andy Kwan||21||Hong Kong||HKG|
|25 QR||Alaeddin Soueidan||13||Syria||SYR|
|26 QR||Amro Hassan||16||Egypt||EGY|