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Special – 1981 – Sports Year In Review – Host George Plimpton


In this George Plimpton special, he looks at the year 1981 in sports….while providing the viewer with some awesome highlights of the accomplishments of many athletes and several teams to include Alpine Skiing World Cup overall champ USA Phil Mahre….with women’s overall champ Marie-Theres Nadig of Switzerland….along with cycling’s Bernard Hinault of France win in the Tour de France….plus World Figure Skating Championships Men’s champion: Scott Hamilton, United States….Ladies’ champion: Denise Biellmann, Switzerland…. Pair skating champions Irina Vorobeva & Igor Lisovski, Soviet Union….and Ice dancing champions Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean, Great Britain.

Plimpton covers all the major sports including Sugar Bowl (1980 season) with the Georgia Bulldogs 17-10 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to win the national championship….along with the January 25th Super Bowl XV victory by Oakland Raiders by the score 27-10 over the Philadelphia Eagles….including the June 12th  Major League Baseball players 49-day strike over the issue of free-agent compensation….then the Los Angeles Dodgers winning 4 games to 2 over the New York Yankees in MLB’s World Series….with te Series MVP ending in a tie between 3B Ron Cey, OF Pedro Guerrero and C Steve Yeager.  Also covered is the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship….which was won by a score of 63 – 50 by coach Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers over Dean Smith’s North Carolina Tarheels….while the NBA Finals features the Boston Celtics winning 4 games to 2 over the Houston Rockets.

Plimpton provides 1981 boxing highlights of heavyweight champion Larry Holmes retaining his title over Trevor Berbick by a unanimous decision….along with featherweight champion Salvador Sánchez defeating Wilfredo Gómez by knockout in round eight to retain WBC world Featherweight title….followed by an epic battle between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns….as Sugar Ray wins by knockout in round 14th round to unify boxing’s world Welterweight title.

This 1981 year in sports provided the following winners in the four major golf tournaments….with Tom Watson winning the Masters Tournament….David Graham the US Open….Bill Rogers the Brittish Open…..and Larry Nelson the PGA Championship….as the PGA Tour money leader was Tom Kite with $375,699….and with Senior PGA Tour money leader Miller Barber at $83,136.  The 1981 Ryder Cup was won by United States by 18½ to 9½ over Europe in team golf.

In horseracing, John Henry became the first horse to win a million dollar race when he won the inaugural Arlington Million, at Arlington Park in Chicago….while the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes were won by Pleasant Colony….with the Belmont Stakes being won by Summing.

On May 21, the New York Islanders defeated the Minnesota North Stars to win the 1981 Stanley Cup….whereas the men’s Grand Slam in tennis winners were as follows….the Australian Open by Johan Kriek….the French Open by Björn Borg….as John McEnroe won the Wimbledon championships and US Open. The women’s Grand Slam in tennis results included Martina Navratilova winning Australian Open….with Hana Mandikova taking the French Open….while Chris Evert won Wimbledon…..and Tracy Austin won the US Open.  

Any way you cut the pie….1981 was a great year in sports….and the one and only George Plimpton brings sports fans the stories and highlights from all the action….which makes this video MUST SEE TV for all sports fans….as it provides a tremendous walk down memory lane.

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