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News 8 Throwback: Olympics in San Diego, Los Angeles

News 8 dug into its vault and found some gold from Olympics past of the 80s and 90s.
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The Summer Olympics in Tokyo is reminding us of Olympics past. So we dug into our archives and found many stories about local Olympians and all the excitement of the games. From the Olympic torch relay when it made its way through San Diego County in 1984 to the 1992 volleyball teams returning to Lindbergh Field. Here's our coverage of the 80s and 90s Olympics.

Olympics begin in Los Angeles 1984

On July 28, 1984, the Olympic Games began in Los Angeles, California. News 8's Doug McAllister scoped out the scene outside the Coliseum - which was the main venue for the games. 

"It looked good," he concluded. 

Doug found an interesting assortment of characters outside the Coliseum - some looking for tickets to opening ceremonies. Across the street, he found people hocking Olympic swag of all kinds including pins, fans, flags, seat pads, bumper stickers and even good ol' Los Angeles smog in a bottle.

Olympic torch in San Diego County 1984 

Excitement was in the air as the Olympic torch made its way through San Diego County on July 24, 1984. Crowds lined the route the whole way but it was particularly crowded in Balboa Park as San Diego Padres Steve Garvey handed the torch to Mayor Roger Hedgecock. 

Reporter Susan Lichtman summed up the jubilant mood saying, "the Olympic torch could not have passed through San Diego at a better time. In 24 hours it has changed the mood of this county, reminding us that there is still room in which to feel proud to feel joy." 

She was referring to the San Ysidro McDonald's massacre on July 18th, that occurred just days before. 

Olympic Volleyball player Steve Timmons Profile 1988

News 8's Chris Saunders said he's not the tallest on the team but with his red flat top and his killer spike, Steve Timmons stands out. He was the MVP of the 1984 gold medal winning men's Olympic volleyball team. Just two weeks before the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, the team was practicing at the Old Federal Building gym in Balboa Park. 

This is the team that would win the gold medal that year and Steve was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Male Volleyball Player of the Year. Coach Marv Dunphy said the team had a tradition of getting real edgy prior to big tournaments -- evident in this video. 

He talked about how special it was to be in the 1984 Olympics and winning the gold. In 1985, Steve co-founded Redsand Beachwear, an action sports clothing and lifestyle brand. He told Chris he is a creative person and liked designing clothing and t-shirts. In 2021, Steve is an assistant coach of the San Diego State University Aztecs Women's Volleyball team.

Profile of Olympic volleyball players of the Sato family ahead of 1992 games in Barcelona 

This News 8 story from July 23, 1992 features the Sato family and its many members who had been or were headed to the Olympic games. At the time Gary Sato was the assistant coach for the men's Olympic volleyball team. His brother Eric was one of the members of the team. But they weren't the only Satos going to Barcelona for the games that year - their sister Liane was also striving for greatness. But wait, there's more... News 8's Hank Bauer helped explain.  

1992 Olympic men's and women's volleyball teams return to San Diego

On August 12, 1992, fans, friends and family greeted the men's and women's teams upon arrival at Lindbergh Field. Both teams won bronze in Barcelona. Doug Partie told News 8 that they would have liked to come home with the gold, but they had to be satisfied with the bronze and they had a good tournament. They won the gold medal in 1984 and 1988.