KONRADS Yvan/Jon (1942) Ilsa (1944) Australia / Swimming
Jon Konrads' parents left Lithuania when the future champion was only two years old. They wanted to go to America, but Australia was to become their new home.At age 9, little Yvan - nicknamed Jon by his parents - contracted polio and the doctors advised him to swim lengths in the pool. Determined not to let them down, by 18 John was the best swimmer in the country.That year, 1960, he was crowned Olympic champion in the 1500 m freestyle in Rome and won a bronze medal in the 400m and a silver in the 4x200m freestyle. He retired from competition a few months later, having added 14 world records to his roll of honour.During the Sydney Games Jon Konrads was invited to open the discussions of the IOC's 111th congress. His good knowledge of French enabled him to replace an Australian television presenter who had refused to express herself in the language of Molière.His sister Ilsa won a silver medal in the 4x100m in Rome in 1960 alongside her Australian compatriots, including Dawn Fraser and Lorraine Crapp.