Sunday, August 5, 2012

Believe it or not, Tim Daggett was a beefcake in 1988

I've been on a mission to figure out when the shirtless gymnastics photos started. It turns out that Sexy Alexei was not the trendsetter that I originally assumed he was. After doing some archival research, I know for certain that the shirtless gymnast photos were in existence in the 80s. In fact...

Tim Daggett was quite the beefcake.

Here he is in 1988:

The inspiration for the ESPN Body Issue? Woof.

Gym fans love to hate on him, but there's a special place in my heart for Tim Daggett. My sympathetic side recognizes that his gymnastics career did not end as he would have liked. The NYT article that accompanied the photo detailed Tim's recovery after he snapped both bones in his leg and had 5 surgeries on his leg. It also talks about him falling on his head in training and rupturing a disk in his back.

Yeah, it wasn't the most uplifting read, but it was worth it because I found that rad photo. (And I didn't do any retouching! I swear!) Even the article depicted Daggett as quite the muscle man:

"But in his West Los Angeles apartment, just back from a workout, Daggett looks the survivor. His neck and shoulders are huge, even by the standards of his sport." [Man crush?] 
"'Tim's routines were always a mixture of artistry and brute force,' said Peter Vidmar."

Once the Olympics are over, I'm going to start reading the "classics." Who needs Dickens when you can read Daggett's book Dare to Dream?


  1. As a former gymnast who was coached by Tim Daggett, I find it amusing how people hate him so much. He's a very good coach and has one of the better boys teams in the country. He's very critical by nature because he's always trying to obtain perfection by his gymnasts. I had to quit due to injury but when I did he was relatively in shape. ~4 years later when I visited his gym he gained some weight which kind of shocked me at the time. To put the time frame in perspective I haven't seen him in 6 years.

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