Olympics History >> Amsterdam 1928 >> Key Moments

Amsterdam 1928 - Key Moments

Weissmuller remains on top

Before the Amsterdam Games, Johnny Weissmuller already had three Olympic swimming gold medals and a bronze medal for water polo under his belt. He left Amsterdam with two more medals before becoming a well-known film star.

In 1922, the 18-year-old American swimmer became the first man to swim the 100-meter freestyle in under a minute (58.6 seconds). Two years later in Paris, Weissmuller won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle, the 400-meter freestyle and the 4x200-meter relay.

In 1928, Weissmuller had to contend with muscular problems. But he stuck to his game plan and won the 100-meter freestyle and the 4x200 freestyle relay, and his American team crushed the world record by 17 seconds during the relay.

An unexpected drink before victory

Weissmuller had another issue to contend with in the pool -- halfway through the 100-meter race, he swallowed a mouthful of water and slowed down. But he recovered quickly and went on to set the world record, as Hungary's Istvan Barany finished more than one second behind.

Weissmuller, after earning five Olympic titles and a bronze medal, gave up the intensive training of the pool for a film career in which he starred mainly as "Tarzan." Even as the legendary lord of the jungle, he was ready to take his pool exploits to a new level, diving into the water to execute the famous film scenes, most of which he conceived himself.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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