The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 8: Shooting & Synchronized Swimming

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

For the third consecutive week, we stay at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. The U.S. women continued their dominance in piling up the golds.

1984, Los Angeles – Shooting – Pat Spurgin

When Spurgin was 17, she won four gold medals at the 1983 Pan American Games. She rode that momentum into the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, taking gold in 10-meter air rifle and setting an Olympic record in the process. Spurgin was a four-year first team All-American competing for Murray State University and a two-time NCAA champion, and her air rifle gold is one of only two won by American women in that event. She was inducted into the USA Shooting Hall of Fame in 2013.


1984, Los Angeles – Synchronized Swimming – Tracie Ruiz and Candy Costie

When synchronized swimming made its Olympic debut at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, Ruiz and Costie took the world by storm. Four-time national champions and the 1983 Pan American Games gold medalists, the two paired up when they were just 10 years old and finished lower than first place only twice. Ruiz also had a prolific solo career, winning a second gold in the event in 1984 and silver in 1988.