Sprinter Valerie Brisco-Hooks and boxer Henry Tillman stand out

Los Angeles was host to the Summer Olympics 25 years ago. This 13th part of a 16-day series looks back at Thursday, Aug. 9, 1984.

The big news

On this day, little-known sprinter Valerie Brisco-Hooks collected her second gold medal by winning the 200 meters. She became the first athlete to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Olympics. The L.A. native emerged from a group of more-renowned athletes at the Coliseum to set U.S. and Olympic marks. The previous year, she was not ranked as a top-10 competitor in either event.

"I didn't have anything to prove," she said on that day. "But lots of people believed in me and I didn't want to disappoint them."


The big surprise

In a wild day of boxing, 10 Americans advanced, but one of them, Henry Tillman, kept his perfect streak intact the hard way. He made it to the finals when a 3-2 decision against him was reversed and he was awarded a 5-0 victory against Angelo Musone of Italy. This juror system, being used for the first time in the Olympics, has five jurors to back up the five judges. All 10 score a bout. If the judges call a bout 3-2, the jurors' cards are picked up. If the jurors vote the other way, by 4-1 or 5-0 margins, the judges are overruled. Meanwhile, U.S. boxer Evander Holyfield was disqualified on the grounds that he punched New Zealand's Kevin Barry after the referee called a stoppage in the Thursday match. Holyfield, who had already decked Barry three times, said he did not hear the referee's whistle because of the crowd noise. The U.S. appealed, but a day later the decision stood, and Holyfield ended up with a bronze.



Tillman now works for LAUSD through a program called Ready Set Go in which he speaks to schoolchildren about the dangers of child and teen obesity. "It's a really important issue that needs to be addressed," said Tillman, who attended Fremont High. "We try to help children not become the butt of jokes. We have a lot of good testimony from children, the community and the city."


From the archives

"I figured, what the hell, I'll run the heats. That's what I came here for. I couldn't just sit in the stands and let it go by. I had to come out and run. . . . I'm not trying to destroy myself. If anything serious had happened to me I would have stepped off the track. . . . There was a psychological problem for me because the last time I stepped out on the track, I was carried off."

Britain's Steve Ovett after winning his heat to advance to the seminfinals in the 1,500. Three days earlier he had collapsed after the 800-meter final and was hospitalized with respiratory problems.


Spotlight on

Carol Lewis. The sister of gold medalist Carl Lewis failed to qualify for the ninth and last spot in the women's long jump at the Coliseum on Thursday night. It came as a surprise because she had been ranked third in the world and picked to win at least a silver medal. Though she wasn't limping, Lewis had injured her ankle a month before during a meet at UC Santa Barbara. She would not talk to reporters afterward.

-- Mario Aguirre

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