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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Butterfly

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 2, 1984
Date Finished: August 2, 1984

Gold: USA Mary T. Meagher
Silver: USA Jenna Johnson
Bronze: FRG Karin Seick


The greatest female butterfly swimmer of all-time was in Los Angeles, so the gold medal went to [Mary T. Meagher]. Mary T would have been favored to win both butterfly events at Moscow, as the world record holder, but the boycott put paid to those hopes. In 1981 she had won the US Nationals in 57.93, a stunning Beamonesque mark that broke her world record by 1.33 seconds and would last as the world record until 1999. In 1982 she won the World Championships in the 100 fly. Swimming World magazine wrote “From 1979 through 1982, Mary T. Meagher dominated the 100 butterfly probably more than any other swimmer has in any event.” But by 1983 Mary T had grown up, was a college freshman at U Cal Berkeley, gained the requisite freshman-15, did not make the US team for the 1983 Pan Ams, and had only the seventh fastest time in the world that year.

But wanting to prove herself at the Olympics, and to the East Germans, Mary T dropped out of school and moved to Mission Viejo to dedicate herself to Olympic gold. In January 1984 she swam 59.63 at the USS International, her best time since 1982, but she was beaten at the US Trials in June by [Jenna Johnson]. She and her coach, Mark Schubert, were concerned but he convinced her that she had overtapered for the Trials. In the prelims in Los Angeles, Mary T qualified first with 59.05, the second-fastest performance ever, followed by Johnson with 59.99. The third-fastest qualifier was the Netherlands’ [Annemarie Verstappen,] but she was 1½ seconds behind Johnson.

In the final Johnson went out suicidally in 27.18 – Meagher had recorded only 27.75 in her 57.96 world record. Meagher also bettered than, turning in 27.47, and she had more left. But it took 90 metres for Meagher to finally get past Johnson, who was by then struggling. The gold medal time for Meagher was 59.26, Johnson coming home in 1:00.19, with West German [Karen Seick] outlasting Verstappen for bronze.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalB FinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mary T. Meagher 19 United States USA Gold
2 Jenna Johnson 16 United States USA Silver
3 Karin Seick 22 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Annemarie Verstappen 18 Netherlands NED
5 Michelle MacPherson 18 Canada CAN
6 Janet Tibbits 16 Australia AUS
7 Conny van Bentum 18 Netherlands NED
8 Ina Beyermann 19 West Germany FRG
9 Lisa Curry-Kenny 22 Australia AUS
10 Nikki Fibbens 20 Great Britain GBR
11 Kiyomi Takahashi 18 Japan JPN
12 Agneta Eriksson 19 Sweden SWE
13 Ann Osgerby 21 Great Britain GBR
14 Takemi Ise 20 Japan JPN
15 Sonja Hausladen 21 Austria AUT
16 Anna Doig 18 New Zealand NZL
17T Marie Moore 17 Canada CAN
17T Agneta Mårtensson 22 Sweden SWE
19 Roberta Lanzarotti 16 Italy ITA
20 Li Jinlan 17 China CHN
21 Carole Brook 19 Switzerland SUI
22 Shelley Cramer 22 United States Virgin Islands ISV
23 Brigitte Wanderer 17 Austria AUT
24 Cristina Quintarelli 20 Italy ITA
25 Faten Ghattas 19 Tunisia TUN
26 Karin Brandes 16 Peru PER
27 Julie Parkes 19 Ireland IRL
28 María Urbina 16 Mexico MEX
29 Jodie Lawaetz 18 United States Virgin Islands ISV
30 Blanca Morales 14 Guatemala GUA
31 Kathy Wong 16 Hong Kong HKG
32 Nevine Hafez 15 Egypt EGY
33 Karen Slowing-Aceituno 15 Guatemala GUA
34 Sharon Pickering 16 Fiji FIJ
35 Daniela Galassi 16 San Marino SMR