1984 - Feature Story
Someone had to do something extraordinary to supplant Wayne Gretzky and his Stanley Cup win to take top male athlete honours in 1984. Lanky Sudbury swimmer Alex Baumann proved more than up to the task. In 1981, the then 17-year-old Baumann set a world record in the 200m individual medley. Three years later, despite nagging shoulder problems, Baumann arrived at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as a world record holder and Gold medal contender in both the 200m and 400m individual medleys. He led the Canadian team as the Opening Ceremony flag bearer, and also proved a great leader in the pool. Baumann rewrote his world record in the 400m individual medley, becoming the first Canadian to win an Olympic Gold medal in swimming since George Hodgson at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. He then broke his world record in the 200m individual medley for a second Gold medal. Baumann was later proclaimed Male Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine.

Wendy Long

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