Sports News and Highlights
Moscow, Russia, during the summer, the
Soviet Spartakiade gave athletes
preparing for the 1980 Olympics to show
their stuff. Part exhibition, part
competition, the event included both
regular Olympic sports and group
demonstrations (such as the living
sculpture formed by platforms of gymnasts
Petty won the first Daytona 500 to be
televised in its entirety, on February
Rick Mears won the Indianapolis 500 on
Automobile Racing News and Highlights]
The Pittsburgh Pirates came from
a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series
over the Baltimore Orioles, October
The Cy Young Awards
went to Baltimore's 23-game winner Mike
Flanagan in the American League, and to
Cubs reliever Bruce Sutter, who saved 37
games, in the National League.
The Little League World
Series was held in Williamsport,
Pennsylvania, August 21-25. In the
champiionship game, the team from Pu-tzu,
Taiwan, defeated the team from Campbell,
California, 2-1, in eight innings.
Two former players --
Willie Mays and Hack Wilson -- and former
league president Warren Giles were
inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
on August 5.
Baseball News and Highlights]
September 5, 1979, Ann Meyers, who had
been a four-time All-American guard at
UCLA, scored a first for women's sports
by signing a contract with the NBA's
Basketball News and Highlights]
Papadopoulos swept the girls'competition
at the U.S. Baton Twirling Championships
in April, winning the solo, strut,
dance-twirl, two-baton, and three-baton,
making her the first contestant ever to
win all five events in their class. The
achievement made her "Twirler of the
Year" for the second time, another
first in baton twirling. These two
accomplishments came barely a month after
she had been one of two U.S.
representatives at the First World
Twirling Demonstrations in Venice, Italy.
And, she did all of this at the
"ripe old age" of 14.
Pappas won the $150,000 PBA Tournament of
Champions, which was held in Akron, Ohio,
The Women's International Bowling
Congress Tournament, held in Tuscon,
Arizona, in May, was won by Donna Adamek.
Mike Aulby won the PBA Championship in
Las Vegas, Nevada, in June.
Reigning heavyweight champion
Muhammad Ali publicly announced his
retirement (for the third time in his
career) on June 27 (after having informed
the World Boxing Association by letter).
To find a new champion, the WBA conducted
an elimination tougnament among John
Tate, Leon Spinks, Gerrie Coetzee, and
Kallie Knoetze. Tate stopped Knoetze in
eight rounds on June 2 in Mmabatho,
Bophuthatswana, and Coetzee stopped
Spinks in one round on June 24 in Monte
Carlo, Monaco. Tate then won a decision
over Coetzee in Pretoria, South Africa,
on October 20 to become the new WBA
[All Boxing News and Highlights]
Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas
Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII, which
was played at the Orange Bowl in Miami,
Florida, on January 21, 1979. Steelers
quarterback Terry Bradshaw was named Most
Valuable Player of the game.
Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, Ron Mix,
and Yale Lary were the 1979 inductees
into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Southern California tailback Charles
White (right), the leading rusher in the
nation (180.3 yards per game), was the
Heisman Trophy winner for 1979.
[All Football News and
Zoeller became the first Masters rookie
to win the tournament since Gene Sarazen
in 1935, as well as the first
sudden-death playoff winner in Masters
Golf News and Highlights]
Farm's Spectacular Bid won the Kentucky
Derby on May 5 and the Preakness on May
19, but finished third to Coastal in the
Belmont Stakes on June 9.
Laffit Pincay, Jr., set a new
single-season earnings record for jockeys
when he rode Affirmed to victory at
Aqueduct on December 9. Pincay's 410th
victory put him over $8 million for 1979.
Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.
Bryan Trottier won the Hart Trophy.
Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner
won the World Pairs Figure Skating
Championships in Vienna, Austria (March
13-18). They were the first Americans to
win the title in 29 years.
Ice Skating News and Highlights]
Stenmark swept the slalom races of the
1979 season, but failed to win his fourth
straight World Cup because skiing
officials changed the rules governing how
the world championship was determined.
Stenmark had won all three of his World
Cups by dominating the giant slalom and
special slalom, and had never skied a
downhill race. Wanting the title to be
held by an all-around skier, World Cup
officials amended the rules to reduce the
number of points a skier could receive in
each category, and added four combined
Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Tampa
Bay Rowdies, 2-1, in Soccer Bowl 79 (aka
North American Soccer League
Championship), which was held at Giants
Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey,
on September 8. It was the first North
American championship for the Whitecaps.
Whitecaps midfielder Alan Ball was named
Most Valuable Player of the game
swimmers set new world records at the Pan
American Games -- 14-year-old Mary
Meagher, with a 2:09.77 in the women's
200-meter butterfly; and 17-year-old
Jesse Vassallo, with a 2:03.29 in the
men's 200-meter individual relay.
On August 16, Meagher broke her
200-meter butterfly record twice, first
with a time of 2:08.41, and then with a
Other world swimming records set
during the year were:
men's 200-meter freestyle -- 1:49.83 --
men's 400-meter freestyle -- 3:51.41 --
men's 800-meter freestyle -- 7:56.43 --
women's 200-meter freestyle -- 1:58.23 --
women's 1,500-meter freestyle -- 16:04.49
-- Kim Linehan
women's 200-meter breaststroke -- 2:28.36
-- Lina Kachusite
Twelve-year-old Marcus Hooper became
the youngest person to swim the English
Channel on August 6, a feat that took him
14 hours 39 minutes. A day earlier,
another 12-year-old, Kevin Anderson, swam
the channel in 12½ hours, but Kevin is
three months older than Marcus.
On August 21-22, Diana Nyad became the
first person to swim from North Bimini
Island in the Bahamas to Juno Beach,
Florida, a distance of about 92 miles.
Bjorn Borg defeated Roscoe
Tanner, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to win
the men's championship at Wimbledon on
defeated Chris Evert Lloyd, 6-6, 6-4, to
win the women's championship.
[All Tennis News and Highlights]
Sebastian Coe broke
three world track records in 41 days in
Track and Field Highlights]
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