Mike Burton

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameMichael Jay "Mike"•Burton
Used nameMike•Burton
Nick/petnamesMr. Machine
Born3 July 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa (USA)
Measurements175 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsArden Hills Swim Club, Sacramento (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 3


Although severely injured at the age of 12 when struck by a truck while riding a bicycle, Mike Burton recovered sufficiently to become one of the great distance freestylers ever. At the 1967 Pan American Games he won gold in 1500 m freestyle and bronze in 400 m freestyle and 200 m butterfly. He set seven world and 16 U.S. records, won 10 AAU titles, and while at UCLA he was five times an NCAA champion. Burton was the first man to break 16 minutes for the 1,650 y free and the first to swim 800 m under 8:30. He was also the first to follow the now standard training regimen of mega-mileage. The first man to win two Olympic 1,500 m freestyle titles, between those championships, he needed further surgery on his knee, a residual of his old injury.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Mike Burton
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1972 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Mike Burton
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1972 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony USA Mike Burton

Special Notes