By Saturday night the Chinese team led the U.S. 23-21, but Coach Kimball was philosophic. "We did a very fine job," he said. "It would have been better with Louganis, but in all honesty, the Chinese are world-class divers. There's no shame in losing to them. And we're not out of it yet."
But on Sunday, they were. The final score: China 45, U.S. 43. The Chinese dominated the women's platform event, taking first, second and fourth, but the Americans came back in the men's springboard, which Burgering won, with Machemer second and Kimball fourth.
"Well, we really didn't know what to expect," said Panzano as the crowd drifted out of the Aquatic Center. "Now we know the Chinese team is excellent. And they're great people, friendly and warm."
Fast learners, too.