Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California, USA
Date Started: August 8, 1984
Date Finished: August 10, 1984
Format: Two groups of competitors. Placement within each group decided by a series of matches with positive points awarded for each result, from 4.0 for victory by fall, to 0.0 for defeat by fall. When three wrestlers remained within a group, they wrestled a round-robin series to determine the top three placements within the group. The winners of each group then wrestled for 1st and 2nd place. Runners-up in each group wrestled for 3rd and 4th place. Third-place finishers within each group wrestled for 5th and 6th place..
The world’s top super-heavyweight in 1984 was Soviet Salman Khasimikov, but he would never get to compete in the Olympics. Bruce Baumgartner came to Los Angeles with his previous only international medal a silver at the 1983 Pan American Games, but he was helped by the absence of the Eastern Bloc wrestlers. There were only eight entrants in this class and Baumgartner only had to win three matches to take the gold medal, defeating Canadian Bob Molle in the final, winning on superiority, 10-2. Molle’s mere Olympic participation was heroic in itself, as he had back surgery on a herniated disc only 10 days before the 1984 Opening Ceremony.
Although Baumgartner was somewhat lightly regarded in 1984 by the international wrestlers, he would become one of the two greatest super-heavyweights over the next decade. His rivalry with Soviet Georgian Davit Gobejishvili became legendary, with Gobejishvili winning the gold medal at Seoul in 1988, defeating Baumgartner in the final match. Baumgartner won a second Olympic gold in 1992, Gobejishvili taking bronze in Barcelona. Baumgartner continued to compete and won a fourth Olympic medal in 1996, taking bronze in Atlanta, which made him only the sixth wrestler to win four or more Olympic medals. He was World Champion in 1986, 1993, and 1995, while Gobejishvili won that title in 1985 and 1990.
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