Seventeen U.S. Olympic relay team members--13 swimmers and four track and field athletes--who competed in preliminary events at the Los Angeles Games but who were substituted for in the finals have been awarded gold medals after a ruling by the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC agreed with petitions from the IAAF and FINA, the international governing bodies of track and field and swimming, respectively, that athletes who had qualified their teams for the finals be awarded whatever medal their country won, even if they did not compete in the finals.
The four track athletes are Diane Dixon, Denean Howard, Willie Smith and Walter McCoy. The swimmers are Jill Sterkel, Mary Wayte, Betsy Mitchell, Susan Rapp, Jenna Johnson, Carrie Steinseifer, Rich Saeger, Geoff Gaberino, Tom Jager, Robin Leamy, Dave Wilson, Richard Schroeder and Mike Heath.
The IOC ruling means that Jager has two gold medals despite not winning a final event. He swam the preliminaries in the men's 4x100 relay and the 400-meter medley relay. It also means that Sterkel becomes the only U.S. woman to win a medal in both the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games.