Peter Fick (USA)
Honor Swimmer (1978)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 5th (100m freestyle); WORLD RECORDS: 5; AMERICAN RECORDS: 9; NATIONAL AAU Titles: 13.
It was Peter Fick who finally caught up and tied Johnny Weissmuller’s World Record 51 seconds 100 yard freestyle in 1936. He twice broke Weissmuller’s 100m freestyle mark in 1934 and 1936. Fick’s career was a swashbuckling epic in American Swimming. Like all great epics, it had drama with laughs almost as frequent as his many victories, and in the 1936 Olympics, a tragedy where photos showed him second and the judges ruled him fifth. His curse to bear is that World War II left him no chance of redemption or revenge. The 1940 Games in which he was favored to win were twice cancelled, first in Tokyo and then in Helsinki.