Jack Whitford

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Alexander "Jack"•Whitford
Used nameJack•Whitford
Born3 January 1924 in Swansea, Wales (GBR)
AffiliationsSwansea Boys Club, Swansea (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Jack Whitford was one of the Bevin Boys, conscripted to work down the coal mines in the 1940s. He followed his famous half-brother Arthur, the 10-times British champion, and also took up gymnastics and was coached by his brother at the Sketty Gym in Swansea. It was there that Jack met his future wife, and fellow gymnast, the Welsh champion Pat Evans.

Jack won the first of three British Championships in 1947, succeeding Arthur, who had won the last Championship before World War II. Jack retained his title in 1948, and was also in the Swansea team that won the National Team Championships that year. Whitford was selected for that year’s Olympics, but did not take part after breaking an arm. His wife Pat, however, who he married in 1946, represented the family at the London Games. Whitford eventually went to the Olympics in 1952 after winning his third British title that year.

Whitford and his wife Pat were married for 71 years before her death in 2020. They ran “Whitfords”, a successful family shoe shop in Swansea. Whitford, like his father before him, learned his trade as a master shoe repairer. Pat and Jack both played golf at Langland Bay Golf Club and Jack was a member of the Mumbles Lifeboat crew for many years.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) GBR Jack Whitford
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 98
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 21
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) =151
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) =107
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) =96
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) 138
Rings, Men (Olympic) 89
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) =69

Olympic family relations