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Olympics – 1984 L A Games – Womens – Marathon Joan Benoit / Grete Waitz & Basketball USA VS Canada

DOG COMMENTARY:

The Women’s Marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was the 1st ever competed in the Olympic Games….which makes this footage historic….as there were five women who competed that wore worthy of tribute for their contribution to this historic event.

First was USA Joan Benoit….the little gal whose gold medal run excited our Los Tres Amigos, Bone Daddy, Sky Pilor and Prince of Pleasure to set an Olympic fan record that can never be broken, only tied….as Benoit’s victory was the catalyst that spurned the idea for Los Tres Amigos  from Texas…. to see a live event in all 26 Olympic sports in which medals were competed for in L A in 1984.  As a result, Joan Benoit was the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon champion….and she still holds the fastest times for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic Marathon….while her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years.

Second was Norway’s Grete Waitz….a Norwegian marathon runner and former world record holder…..who In 1979, became the first woman in history to run the marathon in under two and a half hours…..plus she won nine New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988….which is more than any other runner in history. Her silver medal at these 1984 Olympic Games and a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki….plus marathon victories in the London Marathon in 1983 and 1986….along with being a five-time winner of the World Cross Country Championships.  

Third is Rosa Mota of Portugal….a marathon runner who was one of her country’s foremost athletes ….while  being the first sportswoman from Portugal to win Olympic gold…..as well as being the first woman to win multiple Olympic marathon medals (bronze in these ’84 games).  as well as being the only woman to be the reigning European, World, and Olympic champion at the same time. On the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) she was distinguished as the greatest female marathon runner of all time.

Fourth was Ingrid Kristiansen, also from Norway….as she was one of the best female long distance runners during the 1980’s….after having set world records in the 5000m, the 10,000m, the half-marathon and the marathon….which she held simultaneously….plus having been a World Champion on the track, roads and cross-country….as the first ever athlete to win World titles on all three surfaces.  At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she finished fourth in the first women’s Olympic marathon….then at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, she dropped out of the 10,000m final while leading.  Early in her career, she was also an elite cross country skier, winning several Norwegian titles and a European junior championship.

And fifth but certainly not last….Gabriela “Gaby” Andersen-Schiess…the former Swiss long-distance runner who participated in the first women’s Olympic marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Fourteen minutes into the 1984 Olympic marathon, Joan Benoit began to pull away from the rest of the pack. She went on to win in a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 52 seconds. Twenty minutes after Benoit finished, then 39-year-old Andersen-Schiess entered the stadium….with temperatures hitting nearly 30° C (86° F)….which is very warm for running the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles…..when at the time, the rules stipulated that there could only be five water stations…and the contestants could not be given water anywhere else….so, unfortunately for Gabriela Andersen-Schiess….she missed the fifth and last station and became dehydrated as a result. The crowd gasped as she staggered onto the track….with her torso twisted and her left arm limp and her right leg mostly seized….she waved away medical personnel who rushed to help her….cuz she knew that if they touched her she would be disqualified. While the effects of her heat exhaustion were evident….trackside medics saw that she was perspiring….which meant that her body still had some disposable fluids, and let her continue.

The L.A. Coliseum crowd applauded as she limped around the track in the race’s final 400 meters, occasionally stopping and holding her head. Her entrance to the Olympic stadium and the struggle over the last 400m, which took five minutes and forty four seconds to complete, would make it a memorable finish….for this was the moment when Los Tres Amigos decided the Olympic Games was the place where the greatest moments in sports could happen….for never has Bone Daddy seen anything so inspiring and moving as the incredible effort for this Olympic athlete….who finished 37th out of 44….as medical personnel tended to her immediately….and she was released two hours later. Her time of 2:48:42 would have won the gold medal in the first five Olympic men’s marathons…..but more than anything, Gabrielle Andersen-Schiess and Joan Benoit started our boys on a mission from the Sports Gods.

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