| Event type

200 metres Backstroke, Men

Date31 July 1984
LocationOlympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Participants34 from 25 countries
Olympic Record 1:59.19 WR / John Naber USA / 24 July 1976

In 1982 Rick Carey had won the World Championships in this event and in 1983, he bettered John Naber’s vaunted world record from the Montréal Olympics. He improved that at the 1984 US Olympic Trials with 1:58.86 and was the clear favorite for gold in the 200 back. In the heats he bettered Naber’s Olympic record, finishing in 1:58.99 and hoped to improve in the final and set another world record. He won quite easily, finishing 1½ seconds ahead of France’s Frédéric Delcourt, but his time was disappointing to him – 2:00.23. Rather than celebrate he pouted on the medal podium, did not smile, and acted like a spoiled child. Not acknowledging them, the pro-American crowd responded with a chorus of boos, and the press went after him. In his post-race interview, he said, “I would have won no matter what. I didn’t feel good but no one can beat me. That’s not vanity or cockiness. I had control of the race al all times, feeling as bad as I did.”

Carey was so harshly criticized that he had to offer a formal apology. A few days later he came back to win the 100 backstroke and this time smiled, and let everyone know he was happy. He would also win a third gold medal in Los Angeles in the medley relay. A few weeks after the Olympics, Sergey Zabolotnov of the Soviet Union broke Carey’s world record at the Friendship Games.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Rick CareyUSA1:58.99 (1 h5)2:00.23 (1)Gold
2Frédéric DelcourtFRA2:02.59 (2 h5)2:01.75 (2)Silver
3Cam HenningCAN2:03.36 (1 h2)2:02.37 (3)Bronze
4Ricardo PradoBRA2:04.46 (1 h1)2:03.05 (4)
5Gary HurringNZL2:03.29 (1 h4)2:03.10 (5)
6Nicolaj KlapkarekFRG2:04.45 (3 h2)2:03.95 (6)
7Ricardo AldabeESP2:03.94 (2 h2)2:04.53 (7)
8David OrbellAUS2:04.00 (1 h3)2:04.61 (8)
9Paolo FalchiniITA2:04.59 (3 h3)2:04.64 (1)
10Mike WestCAN2:04.93 (2 h4)2:04.73 (2)
11Michael SöderlundSWE2:05.85 (4 h4)2:05.02 (3)
12Djan MadrugaBRA2:05.23 (5 h2)2:05.33 (4)
13Stefan PeterFRG2:05.22 (4 h2)2:05.66 (5)
14Neil CochranGBR2:05.58 (3 h4)2:05.72 (6)
15Fabrizio BortolonITA2:06.46 (4 h3)2:05.86 (7)
16Daichi SuzukiJPN2:06.24 (2 h1)2:06.02 (8)
17Jesse VassalloUSA2:04.51 (2 h3)1
18Hans FredinSWE2:06.50 (3 h1)
19Kim TerrellAUS2:06.56 (3 h5)
20Paul KingsmanNZL2:06.87 (4 h1)
21Giovanni FrigoVEN2:07.56 (5 h3)
22Patrick FerlandSUI2:08.31 (5 h4)
23Kristofer StivensonGRE2:08.38 (5 h1)
24Neil HarperGBR2:09.48 (4 h5)
25Lukman NiodeINA2:09.79 (5 h5)
26Ernesto VelaMEX2:10.30 (6 h4)
27Allan MarshJAM2:11.57 (6 h3)
28Wang HaoCHN2:12.28 (6 h5)
29Emad El-ShafeiEGY2:12.90 (7 h4)
30Alejandro AlvizuriPER2:13.30 (6 h1)
31Dave MorleyBAH2:18.17 (6 h2)
32Salvador SalgueroESA2:21.75 (8 h4)
33Ernesto José DegenhartGUA2:24.08 (7 h1)
34Juan José PinoHON2:32.48 (7 h3)
DNSSharif NourEGY– (DNS h3)
DNSGordon PetersenFIJ– (DNS h5)
DNSIlias MalamasGRE– (DNS h5)
DNSNg Wing HonHKG– (DNS h2)

Round One (31 July 1984 — 10:05)

Fastest eight advanced to the final. Places 9-16 advanced to the B Final.

Heat One

14Ricardo PradoBRA2:04.46Q
26Daichi SuzukiJPN2:06.24q
33Hans FredinSWE2:06.50
45Paul KingsmanNZL2:06.87
52Kristofer StivensonGRE2:08.38
67Alejandro AlvizuriPER2:13.30
71Ernesto José DegenhartGUA2:24.08

Heat Two

14Cam HenningCAN2:03.36Q
22Ricardo AldabeESP2:03.94Q
35Nicolaj KlapkarekFRG2:04.45Q
43Stefan PeterFRG2:05.22q
56Djan MadrugaBRA2:05.23q
67Dave MorleyBAH2:18.17
DNS1Ng Wing HonHKG

Heat Three

15David OrbellAUS2:04.00Q
24Jesse VassalloUSA2:04.51q
33Paolo FalchiniITA2:04.59q
46Fabrizio BortolonITA2:06.46
52Giovanni FrigoVEN2:07.56
67Allan MarshJAM2:11.57
78Juan José PinoHON2:32.48
DNS1Sharif NourEGY

Heat Four

15Gary HurringNZL2:03.29Q
24Mike WestCAN2:04.93q
36Neil CochranGBR2:05.58q
43Michael SöderlundSWE2:05.85q
52Patrick FerlandSUI2:08.31
67Ernesto VelaMEX2:10.30
71Emad El-ShafeiEGY2:12.90
88Salvador SalgueroESA2:21.75

Heat Five

14Rick CareyUSA1:58.99QOR
25Frédéric DelcourtFRA2:02.59Q
33Kim TerrellAUS2:06.56
46Neil HarperGBR2:09.48
51Lukman NiodeINA2:09.79
62Wang HaoCHN2:12.28
DNS8Gordon PetersenFIJ
DNS7Ilias MalamasGRE

B Final (31 July 1984 — 17:02)

14Paolo FalchiniITA2:04.64
25Mike WestCAN2:04.73
37Michael SöderlundSWE2:05.02
46Djan MadrugaBRA2:05.33
53Stefan PeterFRG2:05.66
62Neil CochranGBR2:05.72
78Fabrizio BortolonITA2:05.86
81Daichi SuzukiJPN2:06.02

Final (31 July 1984 — 16:55)

14Rick CareyUSA2:00.23
25Frédéric DelcourtFRA2:01.75
36Cam HenningCAN2:02.37
48Ricardo PradoBRA2:03.05
53Gary HurringNZL2:03.10
61Nicolaj KlapkarekFRG2:03.95
72Ricardo AldabeESP2:04.53
87David OrbellAUS2:04.61