Seems pretty routine for Nike designer extraordinaire, Tinker Hatfield, to be overly prepared when it comes to designing the next prodigious sneaker for the Jordan brand. The Air Jordan 7 Retro “Olympics” shoe, first debuting by Michael Jordan during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, was only one of many designs that Hatfield devised-- coining the design with the nickname, “Tinker Alternate.”
After settling on this patriotic color scheme, Michael Jordan went off to taking home gold medal after gold medal during those Olympics. And as a nod to MJ’s Olympic number 9 (also featured on the back heel of the shoe) here are 9 fun facts you need to know about the 1992 Summer Olympics and the Dream Team that brought us back the gold!
1. Michael Jordan was a key part of the US “Dream Team” in the 1992 Barcelona Games. (Duh!)
2. He was the team's second highest scorer with 14.9 points per game and made a tournament-high 37 steals.
3. Charles Barkley was the team scoring leader but it was Jordan who led the U.S. in the games against the harder rival and silver medalist Croatia.
4. When the US defeated Croatia 117-85 in the final, Jordan earned his second Olympic gold medal.
5. MJ wasn’t the only great a part of the original Dream Team: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone (just to name a few) were also essential Dream Teammates.
6. Coach Chuck Daly at the time described traveling to Olympics with the Dream Team as, “like Elvis and the Beatles put together. It was like traveling with 12 rock stars.”
7. Opponents didn't have a chance, but they didn't care. One player, while trying to guard Magic Johnson, was seen frantically waving to a camera-wielding teammate on the bench, signaling to make sure he got a picture of them together.
8. Jordan led the U.S. team with 21 points.
9. The 1992 Summer Olympics was a landmark event that viewers and competing players were just happy to be a part of.