Sparks flew in the heat of August. Ben Johnson of Canada burned through 100 meters at the World Track & Field Championships in Rome in a world-record 9.83 seconds. At the politically hot Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, Cubans fought in the ring and in the stands, Jackie Joyner-Kersee of the U.S. tied the women's long jump world record (24'5½"), and Brazil stunned the American men in basketball. Mike Tyson decisioned IBF champ Tony Tucker to unify the heavyweight title for the first time since 1978, Milwaukee's Paul Molitor hit in 39 straight games, and Larry Nelson won the PGA.
When the Pan Am Games rolled around, Indy's Speedway welcomed some good skates.
This backstroker's work shone at the European championships in Strasbourg, France.
PAUL J. SUTTON/DUOMO
Ben Johnson (145) beat Carl Lewis (1053) and the 100-meter world record in Rome.