Jean Boiteux (FRA)
Honor Swimmer (1982)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1952 gold (400m freestyle), bronze (freestyle relay); WORLD RECORDS: 1 (relay); EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1950 silver (400m, 1500m freestyle; 1 relay); 1954 silver (relay).
Jean Boiteux is a splendid example of being ready for the big one! In 1950, he won several second place silvers in the European Championships and again in 1954, he won a second place silver. In 1956 at Melbourne, he was 6th in the 1500 meters in a final which included Rose, Breen and Yamanaka. In 1952, Jean Boiteux was a French national hero, as he broke the American Olympic monopoly on men’s swimming gold medals at Helsinki, Finland. He won the 400 meter Freestyle in a thrilling race over Ford Konno. His former “bridesmaids” role almost came back to haunt him again when his father jumped in to congratulate him before some of the swimmers had finished the race. He was almost disqualified form his greatest win ever in which he broke the Olympic record by 10 seconds and won France’s first ever individual Olympic swimming gold medals.