Olympics History >> Amsterdam 1928 >> Key Moments
Amsterdam 1928 - Key Moments
Weissmuller remains on top
On arriving in Amsterdam, Johnny Weissmuller was already credited with an impressive medal haul with three Olympic swimming titles and also a bronze medal for water-polo. He left Amsterdam with yet two more prizes on his list before becoming a well-known film star.
In 1922, the 18-year-old American swimmer caused a sensation when he became the first man to swim the 100m freestyle in under a minute (58.6). Two years later in Paris, Weissmuller reaffirmed his talent by winning the 100m, 400m freestyle, and the 4x200m.
Returning to challenge for more medals in 1928, he was plagued by muscular problems. However, this did not stop him sticking to his game-plan, and he won the 100m and the 4x200m during which, with his compatriots, he set a new world record.
An unexpected drink before victory
As well as muscle problems, Weissmuller had others to contend with in the pool - half-way through the 100m he swallowed a mouthful of water and proceeded to slow down. Yet he was able to recover quickly and went on to set the world record, with Hungary's Istvan Barany arriving in his wake over one second behind.
His talent also proved beneficial to the United States team, who imposed their superiority in the 4x200m, crushing the world record by an astonishing 17 seconds (9:36.2 secs).
With five Olympic titles and a bronze medal, Weissmuller soon gave up the intensive training of the pool for a film career starring mainly as "Tarzan". Even as the legendary lord of the jungle, he was ever-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.