Magic Johnson - 1980
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1980s

Magic Johnson - 1980
1980: Fans mob Lakers star Magic Johnson during a downtown parade celebrating the team’s NBA championship. (Los Angeles Public Library)
Magic Johnson - 1987
Laker Magic Johnson celebrates in the locker room in 1987 after defeating the Boston Celtics to win another NBA championship. (Michael Edwards / LAT)
Long haul
LONG HAUL
Joan Benoit runs to the finish line in the Coliseum to win the first women’s marathon in the Olympics, at the 1984 Games, an event that had been opposed by some Olympic officials who believed that women weren’t capable of enduring the event’s 26.2 miles. (Joe Kennedy / LAT)
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Carl Lewis had only this one clean jump in the long jump final at the ’84 Olympics in Los Angeles, but it was easily good enough for the gold medal. He also won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 relay. (LA Times)
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John Henry, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, won his second straight Santa Anita Handicap in 1982 after initial winner Perrault was disqualified for interference. (Times archives)
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Among Bill Shoemaker’s many accomplishments was becoming the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He did that, at age 54, atop Ferdinand, above, in 1986. (LA Times)
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Rafer Johnson runs around the track at the Los Angeles Coliseum on his way to lighting the Olympic flame. (Gary Friedman / LAT)
The conflict
THE CONFLICT
American favorite Mary Decker tripped over the bare feet of South Africa’s Zola Budd during the 3,000-meter final at the Coliseum at the 1984 Olympics. Trainers attended to Decker; Budd finished the race seventh to a chorus of boos (Los Angeles Times)
Smooth sailing
Beginning with a festive opening ceremony, the 1984 Games were almost too glitch-free to be believed. Potential problems such as traffic jams, overcrowded venues and unbearable heat and smog had sparked much concern, but never materialized. (Ken Hively / LAT)
The phenomenon
THE PHENOMENON
Dodger Fernando Valenzuela became a cultural icon on his way to winning the World Series in 1981. (Los Angeles Times)
The Producer
THE PRODUCER
Cheryl Miller scored 105 points in a 1982 Riverside Poly game and went on to become a USC All-American (Los Angeles Times)
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