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Original Issue

Their Games Gone ...

Of the 466 members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic-team-that-wasn't, 219 never made another squad. Here's a look at the Olympic fortunes of some of the '80 track-and-field qualifiers


The 18-year-old made his first Olympic team, in the long jump and as a member of the 4 √ó 100-meter relay. Lewis (right, in '84)would make four more U.S. teams and win four straight long jump titles en route to a total of nine gold medals. Only two other Olympians have won the same individual event four consecutive times.


The high hurdler never made another Olympic team. He set his third world record in the event in 1981 (he would be the record holder from 1979 to '89) before leaving track and field to play wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from '82 to '84. Nehemiah (right) caught 43 passes for 754 yards and four TDs and was a member of the Super Bowl XIX team.


Five months after making the 400-meter squad, the 19-year-old Gardner broke her leg while performing as a stunt double in Oklahoma City Dolls, a movie about a women's football team. After a long recovery Gardner missed the final at the '84 trials by one spot. She is now a deputy sheriff of Los Angeles County.


Gault, 49, who earned a 4 √ó 100-meter relay spot in 1980, went on to play 11 seasons as a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders and never made another Summer Olympic team. He did, however, qualify for the '88 Winter Games as a bobsled alternate. Gault still races and in 2006 set a world record in the 100 meters (10.72) for ages 45--49.


The pole vaulter never made another U.S. team (though he took 12th in the 1984 Games competing for Brazil), but his vault training helped launch his modeling career. In '82 Hintnaus was featured in the first of Calvin Klein's provocative underwear ads. A billboard of Hintnaus was known to stop traffic in Times Square, and the picture of Hintnaus on the Greek island of Santorini made American Photographer magazine's "10 Pictures That Changed America." Hintnaus, 52, still does some modeling and runs Hawaii Kai Docks, a home-remodeling and dock-building company in Honolulu.


The 400-meter-hurdle legend and SI's Sportsman of the Year in '84 (with gymnast Mary Lou Retton), won 122 straight races from 1977 to '87. He was one of only two athletes to flank the Boycott Games with golds in '76 and '84. The other was U.S. archer Darrell Pace.