On a Friday evening in August 1989, Tom Jager is about to race in a 50-meter freestyle event at the U.S. National Championships in Los Angeles.
The race marks the return of Olympic gold medalist Matt Biondi, who dueled with Jager in the same event at the 1988 Olympic Games less than a year earlier.
The capacity crowd of 2,500 is settling in for what promises to be a memorable race when Jager is called for a false start and disqualified, though TV replays indicate otherwise.
Jager’s reaction is immortalized in a New York Times photo taped to his Gibb Pool office window. His arms … » More …