1982 Honor Diver
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1928 silver (platform), bronze (springboard); AAU NATIONALS: 3 (1m springboard, platform); AQUACADES: 1937, 1939, 1940.
Egyptian Farid Simaika won a silver medal in the 1928 Olympic tower after first being declared the winner. He won on total points but lost out when the judges' high and low were thrown out and degree of difficulty figured in. He was second to Pete Desjardins, judged by many the greatest diver of the half century. In the springboard, Farid was third. Training in the United States, the popular Simaika won 3 AAU platform and one AAU one-meter springboard National Championships before turning pro to star in the various World's Fair water shows from Chicago's Century of Progress to the Billy Rose Aquacades in Cleveland and New York. His high diving act included a blind-folded tandem done with Hall of Famer "Dutch" Smith for an MGM Pete Smith Special and 2-a-day 66-foot tower dives at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. He also toured Europe diving with his good friend and Olympic nemesis Pete Desjardins. Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1907, Simaika became a U.S. citizen for less than two years, from March 1942 until he was shot down as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps over New Guinea and killed by head-hunters. He was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
© 1982 ISHOF, Inc.