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Max Ritter

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRichard Max•Ritter
Used nameMax•Ritter
Born7 November 1886 in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt (GER)
Died24 May 1974 in Montgomery, Pennsylvania (USA)
AffiliationsSC Hellas Magdeburg, Magdeburg (GER)
NOC Germany


German-born swimmer Max Ritter was president of the Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) from 1960-64. Ritter emigrated to the United States in 1910, and was first named to the FINA board in 1936. He was one of the eight founders of FINA on 19 July 1908, when the group set uniform international rules for aquatic sports and established world records for swimming. By the time of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, FINA membership had grown to more than 90 National Federations under Ritter’s leadership. He served as treasurer of the US Olympic Committee from 1955-64, and was active for more than 50 years with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). In 1965 he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

As a swimmer Ritter competed at the 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympics. In 1908 he reached the semifinals of the 100 backstroke. In 1912 he finished fourth with the German 4x200 freestyle relay, and was eliminated in the heats of the 400 freestyle and the second round of the 100 free.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GER Max Ritter
100 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 3 h1 r2/3
1912 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GER Max Ritter
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) =3 h2 r2/4
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 h3 r1/3
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Germany 4

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President Fédération internationale de natation 1960—1964 GER Max Ritter

Special Notes