Steve Genter

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRobert Steven "Steve"•Genter
Used nameSteve•Genter
Born4 January 1951 in Artesia, California (USA)
Measurements196 cm / 84 kg
AffiliationsUCLA Bruins, Los Angeles (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 3


Before enrolling at UCLA, Steve Genter was a high school All-American at both swimming and water polo. At the 1971 Pan American Games he won gold in the 4×100 metre freestyle (with Dave Edgar, Jerry Heidenreich, and the non-Olympian Frank Heckl) as well as in the 4×200 metre freestyle (with Jerry Heidenreich and the non-Olympians Jim McConica and Frank Heckl) and silver in the 400 metres freestyle. Genter was known for shaving his head completely earning him the nickname “Curly.” His only AAU championship came in the indoor 200 y free in 1972.

At the 1972 Olympics, Genter suffered a collapsed lung only days before his event. Though his doctors advised him against it, he swam despite the handicap, finishing second to Mark Spitz in the 200 and being moved up to second in the 400 after the disqualification of Rick DeMont for using an illegal asthma medication. He also helped the US 4x200 relay team win gold, swimming the fastest leg of the race. However, after Rick DeMont was disqualified from the 400 free for use of an asthma medication, Genter was technically advanced to a silver medal in the 400 freestyle, but Genter thought the disqualification was unjust and he refused to return the bronze medal and never accepted a silver medal for that race.

After graduating from UCLA, Genter settled in Switzerland, where he lived since the late 1970s. He raised a family of 5 children, and worked in the computer industry, also coaching his favorite sport - water polo.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Steve Genter
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes