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WEISSMULLER Johnny (1904-1984) United States / Swimming and Water-polo
In the 1950s Johnny Weissmuller was regarded as the greatest swimmer of the century. His reputation at that time probably rested as much on his remarkable movie actor's role as Tarzan as on his Olympic record. But Weissmuller was indeed an exceptionally fine swimmer who won six Olympic titles for the 100 m and 200 m free style events and with the American relay team at the Paris and Amsterdam games in 1924 and 1928. He was also first to have completed the 100 m freestyle in under a minute. The feat is all the more remarkable in that as a child he was physically weak and was thought to have a weak heart.As for his acting career, which made him the most famous Tarzan in the history of cinema, the only pity is that he did not play any other parts than that of Rice-Burroughs' hero.After being sectioned he spent time in a psychiatric hospital, where he was said to have scared other patients with his famous cry. Johnny Weissmuller was from then on a broken man, destitute and alcoholic. His life ended in 1984 on the East coast of Mexico on the eve of the games in Sarajevo.
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