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Robert Zimmerman

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameRobert Montague•Zimmerman
Used nameRobert•Zimmerman
Born2 December 1881 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died3 December 1980 in ?, Florida (USA)
AffiliationsMontréal SC, Montréal (CAN)
NOC(s) Canada

Biography

American Robert Zimmerman took to the water at a young age and, in 1904, won his first of the 23 Canadian national swimming championships that he would capture over the next decade. He was an all-around swimmer who earned titles in the 50, 100, and 220 yard freestyle categories in addition to numerous styles of diving and underwater swimming. During this period he represented Canada at two Summer Olympic Games, even though he never became a citizen of the country. He was eliminated in the first round of the springboard diving, 100 metre freestyle, and 100 metre backstroke events in 1908 and placed fifth in the springboard competition in 1912. His athletic talents took him beyond swimming and diving as well: in addition to being one of Montreal’s top water polo players from 1905 through 1912, he competed in football, basketball, canoe racing, bowling, and ice hockey and was given an opportunity to try out as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, although he injured his arm shortly before the trial. During his career he would compete for “whichever club was the best in each sport”.

Outside of active competition Zimmerman worked as a lecturer, draftsman, deep sea diver, movie underwater stuntman, and swimming coach. Among his students was Canadian 1912 double Olympic gold medalist George Hodgson. He returned to the United States in 1915 and remained athletically active until his death at the age of 99, spending hours a day training in his racing canoe to reach his goal of completing a 35-mile paddle at the age of 100.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1908 Summer Olympics Diving (Aquatics) Springboard, Men Olympic 3 p1 r1/3 Representing Canada    
Swimming (Aquatics) 100 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 2 h7 r1/3
  100 metres Backstroke, Men Olympic 3 h3 r1/3
1912 Summer Olympics Diving (Aquatics) Springboard, Men Olympic 5 Representing Canada    

Errata

Year of birth also seen as 1886

Research notes

Later worked as a deep sea diver, still alive in 1952:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QkkpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UmgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3871,1407096&dq=robert-zimmerman+olympic&hl=en

Still living in 1965 in Miami, Florida. The article was published on his 84th birthday, so our YOB is probably not correct. The article suggests that he was born in 1881.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gDo0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=NesFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3132,967060&dq=bob+zimmermann+diver&hl=en

There’s one Robert M. Zimmermann born c. 1881 and died 1980 in Florida death index.

From SSDI:

Definitely him: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1123375/index.htm

Created: Paul Tchir at January 27, 2010 15:03, Last edited: Paul Tchir at February 22, 2011 04:01