Australian Olympic swimming gold medal winner John Devitt dies at the age of 86

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

SYDNEY (AP) — John Devitt, who won gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics and set four individual world records in swimming for Australia, has died. He was 86.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame said in a statement Friday that Devitt died Thursday. No cause was given.

Devitt won his only individual Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle at Rome. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning 4-x-200 Australian freestyle relay at the Melbourne Games four years earlier.

He also won a silver medal in the 100 freestyle at Melbourne and a bronze with the Australian 4-x-200 relay team in Rome.

Devitt also won three gold medals at the 1958 Cardiff British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Wales.

He later served as an executive on the Australian Olympic Committee and helped Sydney win the bid for the 2000 Olympics. Devitt was also the Australian chef de mission for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

“John was a great sportsman, a great Australian, and a great friend to many in the swimming and wider sporting communities," Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairman John Bertrand said. "He always put the athletes first.

"I send my condolences to John’s wife Wendy, his family and friends and the many lives he touched throughout his decorated life.”

Devitt was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986.


AP sports: