Australian Commonwealth Games Champion Jason Plummer Dies At 52

Australian Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion Jason Plummer died at his home on Monday, November 15 at the age of 52.

Plummer is survived by his wife, Kris, and his two children.

Plummer represented Australia at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul when he was just 19, finishing 14th individually in the men’s 1500 freestyle while also swimming the third leg on the Aussie’s fourth-place-finishing 4×200 free relay.

Prior to his Olympic appearance, Plummer, who trained out of the St. Peters Swim Club in Brisbane, won silver in the men’s 400, 800 and 1500 free at the 1985 Australian National Championships behind fellow Queenslander Michael McKenzie.

The following year at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Plummer overcame McKenzie to win gold in the 1500 free, and went on to add a pair of bronzes in the 400 and 1500 free at the 1987 Pan Pacific Championships in Brisbane.

A multi-sport athlete, Plummer represented Australia at the National Surf Live Saving Championships in 1988, where he was crowned World Surf Race Champion.

Plummer moved to the United States and attended Stanford University at the age of 20 in 1989, becoming an All-American with the Cardinal while graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He would go on to earn an MBA at UCLA in 1998, and worked on Wall Street before moving to Dallas where he sold luxury real estate.

In 2007, it was revealed that Plummer was one of the five swimmers who Stanford head coach Skip Kenney erased from the team record books. Kenney admitted to intentionally wiping out certain athletes with whom he had clashed with from the record books. At the time, Plummer said his school top-15 times in the 200, 500, 1000 and 1650 free were eliminated by Kenney in the early ’90s.

Plummer also was a swim coach over the years, including serving as assistant to Mike Anderson at the University of Hawaii in the early 2000s.

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1 year ago

RIP, big Jason, we will miss you. Thank you for being a good coach, mentor, colleague, friend, and I will forever remember all the funny stories and fun times together. Aloha, mate. My condolence to his lovely wife Kris and his kids.

Last edited 1 year ago by S-HNL
Gaylene Anderson
1 year ago

I am still shocked at this news. Jason was a larger than life personality – super charming and made people think and laugh. He loved swimming, loved coaching, loved good food, and loved his family and friends! Thankful to have known him, and really thankful to have talked to him just last week. He will forever be missed by so many people. Condolences to his family – especially his wife Kris and their children! RIP Jason!!

Suzy Kole
1 year ago

I had the honor of having Jason coach on my team for a year. I remember one time when swimming against Stanford, he got right up in my face and said in his accent “put your boot on their neck, and don’t let up.” I swam out of my mind, hit my best time, and won the race. He was incredibly intense and motivating, and most of all he truly believed in me! So tragic to hear of his early passing. My condolences to his family and friends!

Mike Anderson
1 year ago

Jason was one of my best friends. Funniest guy I’ve ever met… just the Aussie/American combo accent was hilariously disarming. Like Mel said, everyone could go on with many funny stories. Jason was also a staunch friend and always had your back. He was never afraid to speak truth to power and do the right thing. I first met him when I was coaching at the Univ. of Nevada, in Reno in the 90’s. He said he had heard good things and just wanted to help if he could. Then I was lucky to coach with him in Hawaii as well. Love you. Man, I will miss you, mate.

1 year ago

Larger than life. Can’t believe he’s gone. Will be missed.

1 year ago

I remember cheering him on many times. Condolences to his family and friends.
I so confused about the Skip Kenney information. That’s weird.

1 year ago

Loved this swimmer… Every life he touched has a funny story about him. He will be missed.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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