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Johnny Weissmuller

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 5
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 6
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full namePeter Johann "Johnny"•Weissmuller
Used nameJohnny•Weissmuller
Other namesPetros János Weiszmüller/Weißmüller
Born2 June 1904 in Freidorf, Timişoara (ROU)
Died20 January 1984 in Acapulco, Guerrero (MEX)
AffiliationsIllinois AC, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States

Biography

Although his records have long since been surpassed, and although others have won more Olympic medals, Johnny Weissmuller remains the best known swimmer of all time. Weissmuller set the first of his many world records as a 17-year-old in 1922 and experts considered his 100y freestyle record of 51.0 in 1927 to be the greatest of all his achievements. This remained a world record for 17 years, although Weissmuller himself swam 48.5, as a 36-year-old, after he had joined the professional ranks. He was the first man to better one minute for the 100m freestyle, the first man under five minutes for the 440y freestyle, and he won a total of 51 AAU championships. After a loss in the 1921 AAU 440y freestyle to Ludy Langer, there is no record of his ever losing another race. Weissmuller later became a model for underwear, which led to an acting career. He became the best known of the screen Tarzans, appearing in 12 Tarzan movies, and involvement in a number of successful aquatic related businesses enabled him to lead a prosperous life. He was married five times, and spent his final years in poor health in Mexico.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Johnny Weissmuller
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
Water Polo (Aquatics) USA Johnny Weissmuller
Water Polo, Men (Olympic) United States 3 Bronze
1928 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Johnny Weissmuller
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
Water Polo (Aquatics) USA Johnny Weissmuller
Water Polo, Men (Olympic) United States =5

Special Notes