FOR THE RECORD: 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES: 4th (100m breaststroke); 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (100m breaststroke); 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: 8th (100m breaststroke); ONE WORLD RECORD: 100m breaststroke: 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (100m breaststroke); 1982 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (100m breaststroke), silver (4x100m medley relay), bronze (200m breaststroke); 1986 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (200m breaststroke), silver (100m breaststroke, 4x100m medley relay); 1990 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (100m breaststroke), silver (4x100m medley relay); 1981 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (200m breaststroke); 1983 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m breaststroke), silver (100m breaststroke); 1985 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m breaststroke); 1987 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m breaststroke), silver (4x100m medley relay), bronze (200m breaststroke); 1989 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m breaststroke); 1991 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (100m breaststroke); ONE U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: short course (100y breaststroke); Awarded MBE.
Not since David Wilkie in the 1970’s had Great Britain seen a breaststroker like Adrian Moorhouse. Duncan Goodhew had won the Olympic gold medal in Moscow in 1980, but Moorhouse was equally great in the 100m and 200m races. He was destined to become the world’s best.
It all began in Leeds at age 4 when Moorhouse started swimming. However by age 9, he developed bronchial asthma and the doctor’s antidote was “keep swimming and do more of it”. That’s why under the tutelage of Coach Terry Denison at the Leeds Central Swimming Club, Adrian swam his way into the record books.
The 1982 Commonwealth Games at Brisbane were his first major international championships – gold in the 100m breaststroke in front of the Queen, silver in the 4x100 medley relay and bronze in the 200-meter. He won the gold medal in the 200m breaststroke the next year at the European Championships. In 1984 two months before the Olympics, Moorhouse was diagnosed with the German measles and told he had had them for the past three months, explaining the tiredness he had been experiencing. He never really recovered for Los Angeles, finishing a disappointing 4th in the 100m breaststroke. This was a time to heal and with the help of Denison, a time to re-evaluate his life goals.
At the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Moorhouse was back on track winning the 200m breaststroke and taking silver medals in the 100m breast and 4x100m medley relay. At the 1986 Madrid World Championships, he touched first in the 100m event but was disqualified due to a rule infraction. First in the World, but he didn’t win the prize. He continued: 1987, gold in the 100m breaststroke and medley relay at the European Championships in Strasbourg. It was on to Seoul and the 1988 Olympic Games.
In Seoul, he defeated Karoly Guttler (HUM) and Dimitri Volkov (URS) to win the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:02.04. He had previously set the world record in 1989 with a time of 1:01.49 breaking Steve Lundquist’s (USA) 5 year old record and equaling it another 2 times on separate occasions. Moorhouse wanted to continue after the Games. At the 1989 European Championships he won gold in the 100m breast and silver two years later in 1991 for a total of 5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals in a decade of European Championship swimming.
Adrian competed in his third Olympic Games in 1992 earning an 8th place finish in the 100m breaststroke behind Nelson Diebel (USA).
Spanning a phenomenal 14 year swimming career against such greats as Steve Lundquist (USA), Victor Davis (CAN), Karoly Guttler (HUN) and Mike Barrowman (USA), Adrian set the 100m breaststroke record three times. In all he competed in three Olympic Games and won 3 golds, 4 silver and 1 bronze medal in Commonwealth Games competition. He will be remembered as one of the world’s great breaststroke swimmers.
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