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Jam Handy

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHenry Jamison "Jam"•Handy
Used nameJam•Handy
Born6 March 1886 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died13 November 1983 in Detroit, Michigan (USA)
AffiliationsMichigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor (USA) / Chicago Central YMCA, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States


Jam Handy won the AAU long distance swim for three years straight from 1907, but after a considerable interval, he began a second sporting career and made the 1924 Olympic team as an alternate on the water polo squad. Handy briefly attended the University of Michigan, and competed for the Chicago AA and the Illinois AC while working for the Chicago Tribune. He was forced to do most of his training at 3 AM, after the newspaper had been put to bed. Handy was an innovative swimmer and would have won more championships had all his ideas stood the test of competition. However, in many fields he was years ahead of his time; he was, for example, the first to use the alternate arm style in the backstroke. He also pioneered underwater photography for stroke analysis and in his later years, set up the Jam Handy Corporation, which specialized in motivational and training films, notably producing many films for the auto industry. Handy was the last surviving medalist of the 1904 Olympic Games.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Jam Handy
880 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 6
440 yards Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
440 yards, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) AC
880 yards, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 2
1 mile, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 3