Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 26, 1980
Date Finished: July 26, 1980
Twice in 1980 East German [Petra Schneider] had bettered the world record, leaving it at 4:38.44 coming into Moscow. In the Olympic final she improved that, finishing in 4:36.29, as she crushed her opponents, winning by over 10 seconds from Britainâs [Sharron Davies]. Schneiderâs dominance is underscored when one realizes that Davies mark of 4:46.83 made her the fourth fastest swimmer ever. The bronze medal went to [Agnieszka Czopek], the first swimming medal ever won by a Polish swimmer.
Despite this era of simon-pure amateurism, David Wallechinsky describes in The Complete Book of the Olympics that Schneider later revealed that she had received 20,000 East German marks for her victory, while Davies was stripped of her amateur for receiving $40 for appearing on a television program.