Alberto Zorrilla (ARG)
Honor Swimmer (1976)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1924 participant; 1928 gold (400m freestyle); 1932 team member (missed games due to illness); Argentine and South American champion and record holder in freestyle and backstroke, 1929 to 1932.
Alberto Zorrilla is South America’s first and only Olympic gold medal winner in swimming, beating the Hall of Fame’s Arne Borg (Sweden) and “Boy” Charlton (Australia) to win the 400m freestyle in Amsterdam in 1928. He and Borg (1924) are the only two men who have made Olympic swim finals in all freestyle events. Zorrilla made 3 Olympic teams, 1924-28-32, but missed the 1932 Games because of illness. An all-round athlete, Zorrilla competed in boxing, rowing, track and field, flew World War I planes and in 1931, won the European ballroom dancing championships. Zorrilla swam in the U.S. for the New York Athletic Club, returning to competition to win ocean mile and two-mile Delaware State and Eastern Seaboard Championship races as late as 1946 and 1947. He became an American citizen in 1954 and currently lives in New York City.