Post Olympic years are a mixed bag. In gymnastics, the athletes had to learn an entire new set of compulsories and their optionals tended to sag at times.
Tracee Talevera's parents had her take time off and wanted her to retire, but the strong-willed gymnast came roaring back after the Moscow Boycott. Julianne, the defending champion, was primed for a repeat before disaster struck during compulsory beam.
The graceful and languid Kathy Johnson displayed maturity and prowess and was very much in contention. For those unfamiliar with KJC's competitive history, her nerves and emotion still translate across the computer screen. Despite any competitive issues, Kathy never let anyone down when it came to creating signature floor routines. Swan Lake is now a skatenastics staple, but Kathy made the music her own with a stunning routine. Unfortunately, she was the Alissa Czisny of the early '80s.
Muriel Grossfeld notices everything as a commentator, yet the atmosphere is noticeably less intense than it would become during the Karolyi era. While other coaches were quick to criticize Karolyi, notice the numerous mistakes that simply weren't tolerated a few years down the line if a gymnast wished to be competitive. The US had an abundance of talent waiting to be whipped into form.