Anyone who has ever read Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel, “The Three Musketeers,” knows that the rallying cry of those swashbuckling, 17th-century French heroes – Athos, Porthos, Aramis and a young, impetuous later addition to the group, d’Artagnan – was “All for one, one for all.”
One hundred and 40 years after “The Three Musketeers” was published in 1844, a similar band of brothers swept onto the scene at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, thrusting and parrying with gloved fists instead of the rapiers brandished by Dumas’ fictional creations. In terms of medals won – nine golds, a silver and a bronze – that ’84 United States Olympic boxing team not only is the most successful domestic contingent in any Olympiad, but the most successful fielded by any country. Considering that the U.S. has totaled just one gold medal in boxing in the past three Olympic competitions, it is reasonable to assume that what that 1984 team achieved will never be approached again by an American unit.
“Today’s youth need to be reminded about our ’84 Olympic boxing team, not only because of how successful we were, but because of what we represented,” said Frank Tate, the gold medalist at 156 pounds who was attempting to organize a 30-year reunion of surviving members on Aug. 7-11 in Las Vegas. “Here we are, the greatest Olympic boxing team ever, 12 guys who were very good at what we did and united in a common goal, and a lot of kids don’t know nothin’ about that.”
Asked whether it’s really beyond dispute that the 1984 team was better than the celebrated 1976 group that won five gold medals and seven overall in Montreal, Tate snorted in derision that anyone would even dare to broach the issue. …
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