USA Performance at the Olympics (Part 3)

In 1956, Hal Connolly, won gold medal in hammer thrower despite a physical disability as his left arm was shorter and much less developed in comparison to his right arm.

In 1968, American Al Oerter won the discus throw for the fourth consecutive times. In 1964 he won the medal despite a cervical disc injury and torn rib cartilage. In the same year, on the winning podium of the 200-meter race, the Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute; then got suspended from the Games and deported.

In 1972, American Frank Shorter made the US proud by winning the gold medal in the marathon at the Munich Olympics. Mark Spitz from USA team won seven gold medals at the Games, and won all in world record time. The same year, the U.S. basketball team lost a game for the first time, defeated by the Soviet Union, but refused the silver medal, blaming the clock had been improperly restarted in the final moments.

In 1976, five American boxers won gold medals. Three of them are future world boxing champions: Michael Spinks, Ray Leonard, and Leon Spinks.

Joan Benoit of the USA team won the first women’s Olympic marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. 16-year-old athlete – Mary Lou Retton got her place on Wheaties boxes by winning four gymnastics medals – just six weeks after undergoing a knee surgery.

In 1984, American Carl Lewis won gold medals in the same four events. 

In 1988, Florence Griffith Joyner of America team won three gold medals in running events, while her sister-in-law Jackie Joyner-Kersee won medal in the long jump and heptathlon. Greg Louganis injured his head on the diving board but successfully defended his Olympic springboard title. The last American basketball team without NBA players finished at third place.