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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres Individual Medley

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Events:

Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 3, 1984
Date Finished: August 3, 1984

Gold: USA Tracy Caulkins
Silver: USA Nancy Hogshead
Bronze: AUS Michelle Pearson

Summary

As far back as 1978 [Tracy Caulkins] was the best swimmer in the world, being named that year World Swimmer of the Year. She was also American Swimmer of the year in 1980-82, and had been crushed by the 1980 Moscow boycott. In 1978 she had won both the 200 and 400 IM at the World Championships, but in 1982 had trailed in third in both races at the Worlds, as both were won by East German [Petra Schneider], who had broken Caulkins' world marks in 1980. Five days before this race Caulkins had won gold in the 400 IM.

The 200 IM final was the final race of Tracy Caulkins' vaunted career. She was close to her old self, winning by 2½ seconds over teammate [Nancy Hogshead], with Australians finishing 3-4, with [Michelle Pearson] taking bronze, followed by [Lisa Curry]. Caulkins' time of 2:12.64 was the fourth fastest performance ever, although three weeks later East German [Ute Geweniger] won the Friendship Games in 2:11.79, close to her world record of 2:11.73, set in 1981.

Caulkins never competed again, as Swimming World noted, "The woman many consider to be the greatest female swimmer in history had left the pool." She married Australian swimmer [Mark Stockwell], who she met in Los Angeles, and they settled in Australia. Nancy Hogshead also retired after Los Angeles. The Duke University grad attended law school, and later became an outspoken proponent for women's sports.

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