Jon Henricks began his competitive swimming career as a distance freestyler, but a prolonged ear infection kept him off the 1952 Australian Olympic team. After missing the 1952 Olympics, Henricks switched to sprints, which proved successful. He first competed internationally at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, where he won 110 yd freestyle, 4x220 yd freestyle relay, and medley relay gold medals. After a successful tour of Japan, America, and the Philippines in 1955, Henricks was named 1955 Australian Athlete of the Year by the Helms Hall of Fame and went to the 1956 Olympics as a favorite for 100 freestyle gold.
In the 1956 Olympic 100 m freestyle final Henricks did not disappoint, winning the closely fought battle with fellow countryman John Devitt, in the world record time of 55.4. Henricks won his second gold in the 4x200 relay, also with a world record of 8:23.6. After the Olympics, Henricks enrolled at the University of Southern California, winning American outdoor championships in the 100 and 200 m in 1958 and along with Murray Rose, helped the USC team win the 1960 NCAA team championships. In 1960, Henricks tried to defend his Olympic title, but had to withdraw after contracting a gastrointestinal ailment. Domestically Henricks won Australian titles in the 440 yd freestyle in 1951; 110 yd freestyle in 1953-56; 220 yd freestyle in 1953-54; 4x220 yd relay in 1953-55; and medley relay in 1954. Henricks was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1973 and Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986.
Personal bests: 100 m freestyle – 55.4 (1956).
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1956 Summer Olympics||Swimming (Aquatics)||AUS||Jon Henricks|
|100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic)||1||Gold|
|4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic)||Australia||1||Gold|
|1960 Summer Olympics||Swimming (Aquatics)||AUS||Jon Henricks|
|100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic)||12|