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Mike Wenden

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameMichael Vincent "Mike"•Wenden
Used nameMike•Wenden
Born17 November 1949 in Sydney, New South Wales (AUS)
Measurements184 cm / 76 kg
Affiliations?, Victoria, (AUS)
NOC Australia

Biography

Mike Wenden took up swimming seriously when he was 12-years-old, after breaking a leg while trying to jump a paling fence, and was on the Australian national team from 1966-74. He first competed internationally at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, where he won golds in the 110 yd freestyle, 4x110 yd freestyle, and 4x220 yd freestyle.

The high point of his career came at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, despite the fact that Wenden had trouble adjusting to Mexico City’s high altitude and for two weeks could not swim and hardly sleep. Wenden’s first event at the Olympics were 4x100 freestyle relay, where he helped Australian to a bronze medal. In the 100 freestyle Wenden posted the fastest times in the heats and semi-finals, but was not considered the favorite, that role going to Americans Mark Spitz, Ken Walsh and world record holder Zac Zorn. In the final, Wenden took lead from Zorn at 70 m and finished strongly to win gold in a world record time of 52.2. He then helped Australia’s 4x200 free relay to silver and then the next day won the 200 freestyle by beating the favored Don Schollander by a full body length.

After the Olympics, Wenden won four golds (100 free, 200 free, 4x100 free relay, 4x200 free relay, the latter in a world record 7:50.8) and one silver (medley relay) at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, but failed to medal at the 1972 Olympics. At the inaugural World Championships in 1973, Wenden won a 100 freestyle bronze and 4x200 free relay silver, before finishing his career at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, where he won the 100 freestyle and 4x200 free relay, adding silver in the 4x100 free relay and medley relay, and bronze in the 200 freestyle.

After finishing his sporting career, Wenden worked as the manager of the Palm Beach Aquatics Centre in Gold Coast, Victoria. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1979 and Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986. His daughter Karen Wenden became a national level swimmer, who also represented Australia at the 1989 Miss Universe pageant, where she was named Miss Photogenic. She later married Olympic swimmer Andrew Baildon.

Personal bests: 100 m freestyle – 52.2 (1968); 200 m freestyle – 1:54.4 (1972).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) AUS Mike Wenden
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 3 Bronze
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 4
1972 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) AUS Mike Wenden
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 5
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia DNS
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 5
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 9

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1968 Summer Olympics 18 October 1968 Swimming (Aquatics) 100 metres Freestyle, Men Semi-Finals, Heat Three 52.9 1
1968 Summer Olympics 19 October 1968 Swimming (Aquatics) 100 metres Freestyle, Men Final 52.2 WR 1
1968 Summer Olympics 24 October 1968 Swimming (Aquatics) 200 metres Freestyle, Men Round One, Heat Two 1:59.3 1
1968 Summer Olympics 24 October 1968 Swimming (Aquatics) 200 metres Freestyle, Men Final 1:55.2 1
1972 Summer Olympics 31 August 1972 Swimming (Aquatics) 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Round One, Heat One 7:49.03 1

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1972 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony AUS Mike Wenden

Olympic family relations

Special Notes