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John Nelson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Maurer•Nelson
Used nameJohn•Nelson
Born8 June 1948 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Measurements178 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsYale Bulldogs, New Haven (USA)
NOC United States


After winning his first Olympic medal in 1964, John Nelson of Yale won his only AAU title in 1965 and set a world record for the 400 metre freestyle the following year. Nelson recorded 4:11.8 for the 400 free on 18 August 1966, a record which was broken later in the day by Don Schollander, who recorded 4:11.6. Apart from his three Olympic medals, John Nelson was an Olympic finalist in the 400 freestyle in 1964 and 1968, and in 1968 he was a finalist in the 1,500 freestyle. He also won a gold in the 4×200 free relay at the 1967 Universiade.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA John Nelson
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 5
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1968 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA John Nelson
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 6
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 8
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1968 Summer Olympics 24 October 1968 Swimming (Aquatics) 200 metres Freestyle, Men Round One, Heat One 1:59.5 1

Special Notes


According to his teammate Mike Austin he attended Yale after the Olympics.