The 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastics Team became the first American squad to win an Olympic gold medal in the team all-around competition.
In fact, it was the United States’ first medal of any kind in the Olympic team all-around competition since 1932.
The American squad enjoyed the advantage of competing at home in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Three members of the team – Tim Daggett, Mitch Gaylord and Peter Vidmar – competed collegiately at UCLA and the Olympic Competition was held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
China had unseated the Soviet Union as the world champion and entered the Olympics as the gold medal favorite. The American squad, though, stayed with the Chinese at every step of the way. The Chinese had higher scores in the floor exercise, vault and horizontal bars. The Americans had higher scores in the parallel bars, rings and pommel horse
Gaylord nailed a perfect 10 on the rings. Conner scored 10 on the parallel bars. The final rotation had the U.S. on the horizontal bars. Gaylord delivered a 9.95. Then Connor had a 9.90. Daggett posted another 10. Vidmar closed things out with a 9.95.
“It was a special special time,” Gaylord said years later at a team reunion.
In the individual competition, Vidmar won silver in the all-around. Conner won gold and Gaylord took bronze in the parallel bars. Vidmar won another gold in the pommel horse, where Daggett took bronze. Gaylord also won silver in the vault and bronze in the rings.