1977 WORLD SUPERSTARS

After four years of competitions across the globe, the best Superstars performers gathered in Callaway Gardens, Georgia for the first ever World Superstars. Just a week before the event, three-time Superstars champion Kyle Rote, Jr. and 1975 champion O.J. Simpson withdrew from the competition. Neither cited a reason. Rote was possibly preparing for the N.A.S.L. season and Simpson may have been working on a film or TV project. I do not know why two-time U.K. champion David Hemery was not in attendance, but he was missed. The athletes qualified largely thorough the European finals and the U.S. Finals as well as Canadian champion Tony Gabriel. The competition boiled down to a duel between the old pole vault rivals Bob Seagren and Kjell Isaksson.

The first event, rowing, would signal the high level of competition that the event would display as the first six athletes in qualifying were separated by less than half a second. Dutch hurdler Frank Nusse defeated New Zealand miler Peter Snell in the heats of the rowing, but the two men had recorded the two fastest times. Nusse was leading slightly in the final when he lost grip on an oar and Snell surged to victory. Snell's winning time of 36.17 was not recognized as a Superstars record, and I am not sure why. The soccer event, new to the Americans, was simply five penalty kicks against Paul Hammond of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Welsh rugby union star Gareth Edwards was the last Superstar in the order and five men had already scored four goals. Edwards made the first four, but missed the fifth putting six men in a tie. French Olympic champion hurdler Guy Drut won the shoot-off and five men tied for second place. Snell had aggravated a hamstring injury from the Superstars finals in the 100 yard dash heats and did not qualify for the final, while Oakland Raider tight end Dave Casper qualified in bare feet. Houston Oiler return specialist Billy "White Shoes" Johnson easily ran away from the field in 9.90 seconds. Casper out lifted the much lighter Isaksson to win the weightlifting, Isaksson weighing less than 160 pounds lifting 265 overhead. Seagren won the half mile as Drut pulled out with about 300 yards remaining with a sore hamstring while in second place.

Snell downed former Green Bay Packer Jim Taylor in the tennis final and Seagren won his second event with an easy victory in the swimming. Isaksson defeated his pole vault rival in the gym tests, which for the first and only time were a combination of chin-ups (which would become a part of the World Superstars gym tests in future years) and parallel bar dips. The bike race was to be about four and a half laps of the track, but the lap counter missed a lap and as Seagren sprinted for second place there was still one lap remaining. By Isaksson taking second place at the end of the fifth lap, Seagren entered the obstacle course with a three point lead over Isaksson and Snell. As expected, Seagren finished with the second best time to record holder Lynn Swann and captured the first World Superstars as he had captured the first Superstars, defeating Isaksson by 8 points. Seagren was quick to note that he had an advantage over Isaksson. Since Isaksson was still an amateur athlete with an eye on the 1980 Olympics, he was ruled ineligible to run in the track events (100 yards and half mile) by the I.A.A.F. Had Isaksson been eligible for these two events as pole vaulter Seagren was, he would have likely turned the tables on his former rival. As it was, the top nine places were either track and field athletes or football players.

Callaway Gardens, Georgia

Competition Dates: March 15-16, 1977.

Air Date: March 27, 1977.

Announcers: ABC - N/A; BBC - David Vine and Ron Pickering.

PLC. NAME, SPORT
ROW SCCR 100 WL HALF TEN SWIM GYM BIKE OC TOTAL
MONEY
1. Bob Seagren, USA, Pole Vault
2
x
2
x
10
x
10
7
2
7
40
$37,000
2. Kjell Isaksson, SWE, Pole Vault
4
x
x
7
x
0
2
10
7
2
32
$24,600
3. Peter Snell, NZL, 800/1500 Meters
10
0
0
x
x
10
x
0
10
0
30
$14,000
4. Lynn Swann, USA, Football
x
0
7
1 1/2
0
1
x
1
x
10
20 1/2
$11,150
5. Dave Casper, USA, Football
0
0
1
10
x
x
7
0
x
0
18
$8,400
6. Frank Nusse, NED, 400 Hurdles
7
2 4/5
x
0
x
4
4
x
0
0
17 4/5
$7,340
7. Billy Johnson, USA, Football
x
2 4/5
10
0
0
0
x
2
x
1
15 4/5
$4,740
8. Jim Taylor, USA, Football
1
2 4/5
x
4
x
7
x
0
0
scr
14 4/5
$4,440
9. Guy Drut, FRA, 110 Hurdles
0
10
x
0
0
0
0
x
x
4
14
$4,200
10. Karl Schnabl, AUT, Ski Jumping
0
x
x
1 1/2
2
x
1
4
1
0
9 1/2
$2,850
11. Rudi Krol, NED, Soccer
0
x
4
x
0
0
0
x
4
0
8
$2,400
12. "Corky" Bell, BEL, Basketball
x
0
0
x
7
0
x
0
x
scr
7
$2,100
13. Gareth Edwards, GBR, Rugby
0
2 4/5
0
0
0
2
x
0
x
x
4 4/5
$1,440
14. Tony Gabriel, CAN, Football
0
0
x
0
4
0
x
x
0
0
4
$1,200
15. John Conteh, GBR, Boxing
0
2 4/5
0
0
1
x
x
0
x
0
3 4/5
$1,140

VIEW THE COMPLETE BBC VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

 

INDIVIDUAL EVENT RESULTS

100 YARD DASH - heat 1

1. Billy Johnson

10.29

2. Lynn Swann

10.45

3. Dave Casper

10.65

4. Bob Seagren
10.80
5. John Conteh
11.81

100 YARD DASH - heat 2

1. Rudi Krol

10.66

2. Peter Snell

11.00

3. Gareth Edwards

11.28

4. Corky Bell
11.30

ROWING

1. Peter Snell

38.42

36.17 r

2. Frank Nusse

38.31

37.2e

3. Kjell Isaksson

38.51

4. Bob Seagren

38.64

 
5. Jim Taylor
38.66
 
6. Karl Schnabl
38.84
 
7. Rudi Krol
39.76
 
8. Dave Casper
40.25
 
9. John Conteh
41.11
 
10. Gareth Edwards
42.31
 
11. Tony Gabriel
42.37
 
12. Guy Drut
42.86
 

SOCCER PENALTIES - 5 shots vs. Paul Hammond

1. Guy Drut

4 *

2. John Conteh

4

2. Gareth Edwards

4

2. Billy Johnson

4

2. Frank Nusse

4

2. Jim Taylor
4
7. Dave Casper
2
8. Tony Gabriel
1
8. Peter Snell
1
8. Lynn Swann
1
11. Corky Bell
0

100 YARD DASH - final

1. Billy Johnson

9.90

2. Lynn Swann

10.27

3. Rudi Krol

10.39

4. Bob Seagren

10.40

5. Dave Casper

10.86

WEIGHT LIFTING

1. Dave Casper

270

2. Kjell Isaksson

265

3. Jim Taylor

260

4. Karl Schnabl

240

4. Lynn Swann

240

6. Guy Drut
230
7. John Conteh
220
7. John Conteh
220
9. Gareth Edwards
210
9. Billy Johnson
210
11. Frank Nusse
200

HALF MILE RUN

1. Bob Seagren

2:08.70

2. Corky Bell

2:10.43

3. Tony Gabriel

2:13.30

4. Karl Schnabl

2:15.00

5. John Conteh

2:17.48

Guy Drut
dnf
Billy Johnson
dnf
Rudi Krol
dnf
Lynn Swann
dnf
Gareth Edwards
dns

TENNIS

1. Peter Snell

10

2. Jim Taylor

7

3. Frank Nusse

4

4. Gareth Edwards

2

5. Lynn Swann

1

Nusse d. Bell
6-1
Krol d. Isaksson
6-0
Edwards d. Gabriel
6-1
Nusse d. Swann
6-4
Taylor d. Krol
6-0
Edwards d. Drut
6-0
Snell d. Johnson
6-2
Taylor d. Nusse
6-4
Snell d. Edwards
6-1
Snell d. taylor
6-4

SWIMMING - heat 1 (50 Yards)

1. Kjell Isaksson

28.80

2. Karl Schnabl

30.90

3. Rudi Krol

31.21

4. Guy Drut
31.75

SWIMMING - heat 2 (50 Yards)

1. Dave Casper

27.34

2. Bob Seagren

27.88

3. Frank Nusse

28.31

SWIMMING - Final (100 Yards)

1. Bob Seagren

59.95

2. Dave Casper

1:04.10

3. Frank Nusse

1:05.09

4. Kjell Isaksson
1:06.00
5. Karl Schnabl
1:35.35

GYM TEST - Chin-Ups plus Parallel Bar Dips

1. Kjell Isaksson

33

47
80
2. Bob Seagren

28

46
74
3. Karl Schnabl

27

34
61
4. Billy Johnson

27

24
51
5. Lynn Swann

25

25
50
6. John Conteh
16
33
49
7. Gareth Edwards
22
24
46
8. Peter Snell
16
dns
16
9. Corky Bell
15
dns
15
10. Dave Casper
12
dns
12
11. Jim Taylor
9
dns
9

BIKE RACE - heat 1 (1/2 Mile)

1. Rudi Krol

1:10.70

2. Kjell Isaksson

1:10.95

3. Karl Schnabl

1:11.40

4. Tony Gabriel

1:20.26

BIKE RACE - heat 2 (1/2 Mile)

1. Peter Snell

1:12.90

2. Kjell Isaksson

1:13.00

3. Frank Nusse

1:13.33

4. Jim Taylor

1:13.60

BIKE RACE-final (1 1/3 Miles)

1. Peter Snell

3:12.60

2. Kjell Isaksson

3:18.28

3. Rudi Krol

3:18.59

4. Bob Seagren

3:18.60

5. Karl Schnabl

dnf

OBSTACLE COURSE

1. Lynn Swann

24.21

N/A

2. Bob Seagren

24.64

N/A

3. Guy Drut

24.84

4. Kjell Isaksson

25.81

 
5. Billy Johnson
26.20
 
6. Karl Schnabl
29.20
 
6. Peter Snell
29.20
 
8. Frank Nusse
29.52
 
9. Tony Gabriel
34.23
 
10. Rudi Krol
40.69
 
11. John Conteh
41.81
 
12. Dave Casper
dnf
 

e = estimated time

r = Superstars record

N/A = result not available

dnf - did not finish

dns - did not start

nm - no mark

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