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'American Anthem' now on DVD!

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For years, I have begged the entertainment gods to put 1986’s American Anthem, starring Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord and Janet Jones, on DVD. I’d given up hope. Then, today, I opened a package from an acquaintance, who happens to cover a lot of home entertainment, and found a gift-wrapped DVD with a note that said, “While I can appreciate the camp/pop culture importance of the movie, I found myself asking, ‘Who do I know who would fully love this release?'” He didn’t mention the title in the note, so I opened it skeptically… then gasped, teared up, and ran into the hallway to shout AMERICAN ANTHEM IS NOW ON DVD! to the two closest coworkers. (Neither of them was as excited as I, but one of them, Abby West, knew exactly the Mitch Gaylord poster I had hanging on my bedroom wall as a 9-year-old: Shirtless, jeans, top button undone. The other, Sean O’Heir, assumed I was talking about Gymkata, but I celebrated that DVD release in 2007.)

I felt the need to make sure other fans, who may have missed news of the release, knew the movie was now available. (You can also rent it on YouTube for 24 hours for $2.99.) I watched it so many times growing up, I can quote the announcer at the final meet by heart, with the proper inflection: “He’s thrown a tripus. Steve Tevere has thrown a tripus. The most outstanding dismount tonight, or any night!”

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