’80s Looks We Love

We’ve come to point in the summer of #ThrowbackThursday to go all the way back. Or, as far back as YouTube will allow, anyway. There will be ‘80s looks galore, and be sure to read to the end for some bonus ‘70s styles and a hint of the ‘60s, too. You will not want to miss this—promise.

1980

AIAW Event Finals

Hello split screen, my old friend.
PMAC before it was the PMAC. Hi there!
Nancy Theis! She is an Illinois great and 1972 Olympian, and she is rocking that ‘do.
Cal State-Long Beach (RIP) rocking the deep V. Also, we need to talk about this closeup inset: namely, why. Also also, this is Kirsty Durward, member of the New Zealand national team!
This turtleneck is everything.
That is a lot of yellow, LSU.
I pledge allegiance, to the flag. This is a UCLA leo. Mhm!
Oh my. The inset is back, and old school bars is terrifying.
Penn State head coach Judi Avener is serving this look.
Apparently we should have been pledging allegiance to this leo instead!
Gymnastics broadcasts have been panning to parents in the stands for a long time it seems.
Bless, we’re getting fluff! “It may be the end of gymnastics, but it’s also the beginning of the rest of her life.”
This thing must have been Mardi Gras themed. Amazing.

1981

AIAW National Championships

A packed Huntsman, even in 1981!
Gators, explain these numbers to me.
Heyo, Pitt!
These are apparently the leaders after session one. Six up, four count.
When you nail your layout Tsuk. Hi, Greg!
YES a fully orange leo thank you Oregon State!
Meanwhile, Penn State just slapped the school seal(?) on its leo. Why not? Also, that bow!
UCLA head coach Jerry Tomlinson looking very California. Surfs up?
Nancy telling us that this year floor music can be full orchestrations, rather than just one instrument. Wonder what these ladies think of current floor music.
Pigtails forever.
Nancy: “It’s nice to see different schools coming to the forefront of the collegiate program.” Thirty seven years later…Utah and UCLA are still at the top. Pretty amazing.

1983

Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships (The O.G. WAG NCAA competition!)

Kathy Johnson Clarke, a voice of gymnastics for nearly four decades. Hail, queen.
Apparently the short and curly hair was in for the ladies.
Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts!
We bet Peter Vidmar wishes it were still 1983.
I will get you my pretty, and your little dog too! (The flag leo is Utah!)
Gymnasts are allowed to eat in college!
Ooooohkay.
Florida just why.
And orange warmups! We’re fairly sure the “O” in “FLORIDA” is an orange, too.
SCORE some Greg-Meg fluff. They talked about dating for a long time before going out. “We tried to handle it appropriately.”
Back to the dudes, back to the perennial Penn State singlet.
I wear my sunglasses at night. It’s now stuck in your head, you’re welcome.
Time for women’s event finals and giant headsets.
THIS IS A UTAH LEO.
We’re getting event winners in slow-mo set to some sappy music, and it’s everything you want it to be.
SUSPENDERS.

1987

NCAA Women’s Championships

Would you rather: this sweater vs. Nastia’s pink polo.
KJC is telling us to remember Kelly’s name. Spoiler: We will.
Kim Hamilton has “captured the highest score ever on floor.” 2004 is laughing so hard it’s crying.
The hair. The leo. The Suzanne.
These arrows are, um, interesting.
Our shoulders are crying.
A Sarah sighting!
Suzanne gave the team matching earrings. She has a matching, bigger version. You’re not surprised.
Gotta love a good full-on.
“Drugs never made a winner out of anyone. They just make you a big loser.” The Reagan years indeed.

1988

NCAA Women’s Championships

Solid hair altitude.
I spy one Miss Val with her Meet Face™ on.
Florida, again, these leos!
This is some neckline. It’s nice that the judging uniform has changed zero percent in thirty years. Fun fact: The blue suits are from Lands End. The more you know.
Just everything about this.
They all have boutineers on their warmup jackets.
YES LSU MORE TIGER STRIPES!
Don’t worry, D-D has a tiger on her sweater, too.
What a young, naive world.
Alright OU, who gets the legacy Kelly Garrison shoulder roll in 2019?

NCAA Men’s Championships

Someone discovered CGI and had a little too much fun with this intro.
Oh no these colors.
Peter Vidmar pronounces gymnast “gym-NAST,” and we’re slowly going insane.
THIS HEADSHOT. Who cares about gymnastics, we’re all about these graphics today.
HI! Also check out that scoreboard. Amazing.
JUST LOOK AT IT. Can you imagine being the Vanna White for that thing?!
Vidmar: “Little bit of breakdancing, bringing the street into the gym.” Hmm.
An almost mullet. A fledgling mullet, if you will.
Some TimmyD vault crash fluff, of course. There’s a photo of the shattered leg, but we’re sparing you.
The granddaddy of mullets, complete with matching ‘stache. Three easy payments of $9.99. Must be 18 or older to call.
Whee!
What’s next, flairs on rings?!
One-armed eagle grip front giants are really cute.
High bar, man.
Whoops.
Houston Baptist!
New Mexico!

1989

Pac-10 Championships

Those scores. That Pac-10 logo.
Arizona with some Alabama-style candy stripe action.
Gotta get that chalk right.
9.80 for bangs amplitude. There are other teams competing, but who cares?
Mmm maybe this is why we weren’t seeing any Washington. Sparing us from that yellow.
Your mascot is a Beaver not a Zebra, come on now.
Nice boob-splash of the yellow this time.
Coach Tomlinson, WHAT is this jacket?
“Raise your hand if you’re being blinded by all the yellow in this gym.”
Oh, yeah, Stanford is here too. Cal isn’t, as far as CBS is concerned.
Cal, SPOTTED. More yellow hooray.
Miss V hit the late ‘80s hard.
We never did get a Cal routine. Boo.

BONUS: The 1970s

1975 Southern Illinois MAG highlights from the NCAA Team Final

Those are some high waisted pants! Cal is the leader. LSU is here. SIU is “going after title No. 5.” Betcha didn’t know SIU ever had a team, let alone that it was a dynasty!
Purple short shorts and…knee high socks?
Okay this just looks fun.
That’s a solid crowd! Make MAG Great* Again. MMAGA? MMAGGA? (*Well-attended and well-covered because the gymnastics is already great. We’re working on the well-covered bit around these parts.)
Amazing. SIU’s Jim Ivicek broke his arm before the competition, apparently.

1987: Ann Carr (Penn State) on beam at the AIAW Championships

PSU! This leo! Your next throwback look, maybe?
Gymnastics history lesson time! Ann Carr was the first woman to receive a full athletic scholarship to Penn State; she won the AIAW all around, bars, beam and floor titles—and Penn State won the team title—in 1978.

And a Little 1960s MAG

Rope climb! Apparently it didn’t have to be pretty.
Twenty nine? Two point nine? What does it mean?
It appears that we are at Illinois. This might be Huff Hall, where both Illini teams still compete! Check out those wrestling mats. Ouch.
Trampoline!
Flying rings! Let’s bring this one back.

READ THIS NEXT: LIVE(ISH) BLOG: 1984 Men’s and Women’s NCAAs


Article by Emily Minehart

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