Los Angeles 1984: Jon Sieben – Swimming

Los Angeles 1984: Jon Sieben – Swimming
Network Ten
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As head swimming coach Terry Buck says in this clip from TEN Eyewitness News, Jon Sieben's win in the 200m butterfly event at Los Angeles was one of Australia's most outstanding Olympic achievements in swimming.

In the major upset of the 1984 Games, Sieben surprised everyone by beating Michael Gross of Germany in a blistering world record time of 1:57.04.

The footage interweaves shots of Sieben and his training partner, Angela Russell, in full Olympic attire arriving at Sydney Airport. Sieben is welcomed home by fans and his overjoyed parents, with cheers and music filling the terminal.

Whisked away to the Camperdown Travel Lodge, Sieben celebrates with a champagne breakfast with NSW sports minister Michael Cleary and other Olympians such as Suzie Landells in attendance.

The latter part of the clip features a lovely personal interview with the humble and almost self-effacing Sieben, who fondly recollects the unexpected win. He describes the moment straight after the event when he spoke to his proud parents – and the great sense of honour he felt, receiving his medal on the podium and hearing the Australian anthem.  

The inclusion of footage from the race itself – edited with the more intimate interviews with Sieben, his family, coach and others – makes for a professional and engaging media segment. 

The footage also provides an entertaining time capsule – featuring the distinctive hairstyles, fashion, decor and speech of the 1980s.

Excerpt from TEN Eyewitness News Sydney, 15 August 1984.