Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
We’re going way back for this week’s Swim of the Week – to one of the greatest swimmers in history.
Though meet results back to 1922 are understandably sparse, swimming hero Johnny Weissmuller is credited with breaking his first long course meters world record on May 26 of 1922 – 98 years ago today.
Weissmuller was just 17 years old at the time, and a complete newcomer to the sport of high-level competitive swimming. He debuted in AAU competition in 1921, and by 1922, smashed a world record in the 200-meter freestyle with a 2:15.6 in Honolulu.
Later that summer, Weissmuller became the first man in history to break a minute in the 100-meter freestyle, going 58.6 and taking almost two full seconds off of Duke Kahanamoku‘s standing world record. Weissmuller would hold that 100 free world record until 1934. His 200 free record would stand until 1935.
Over Weissmuller’s legendary career, it is widely reported that he never lost a single freestyle race.
Weissmuller would swim in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. He also competed for the U.S. water polo team in those two Olympic Games. In 1929, he turned professional, and would later star as Tarzan in a dozen films, becoming an icon in both sport and entertainment.
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