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Frank Gailey

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 3
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFrancis "Frank"•Gailey
Used nameFrank•Gailey
Born21 January 1882 in Brisbane, Queensland (AUS)
Died10 July 1972 in Garden Grove, California (USA)
AffiliationsOlympic Club, San Francisco (USA)
NOC United States
Nationality Australia


The son of Richard Gailey, a prominent Brisbane architect, Francis Gailey was educated at Brisbane Grammar School. A regular medallist at Queensland championships, he placed third in the 440 yards at the Australasian Championships in 1902. In February 1904 he travelled to California and joined the Olympic Club of San Francisco where his compatriot Syd Cavill was head coach.

At St. Louis he was unlucky to be matched against Charlie Daniels, Germany’s Emil Rausch, and Hungary’s Géza Kiss at the 1904 Olympics. Though Gailey swam well, those three prevented him from winning a gold medal. Later in 1904 he set a world record for the quarter-mile in San Francisco and became the first man to break six minutes for the distance.

Gailey returned to Australia but in 1906 settled permanently in America working first as a banker, and then became a manager of orange-grove plantations in Southern California. Gailey eventually became a naturalized American but, at the time of the St. Louis Olympics, he was an Australian citizen, a fact that was not discovered until 2008. In 1904, however, he swam for the Olympic Club of San Francisco at the Olympics, an American club.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1904 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA AUS Frank Gailey
220 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
440 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
880 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1 mile Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze