Legendary swimmer and 1936 Olympic gold medalist Adolph Kiefer has passed away at the age of 98. Prior to his death, he was the oldest living American Olympic champion.
Kiefer passed at his Illinois home at 6:00 in the morning on Friday, May 5. He was a month shy of his 99th birthday.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame published a lengthy obituary today, recounting Kiefer’s legacy both in the pool and out. Kiefer suffered from neuropathy that kept him confined to a wheelchair late in his life, but he continued swimming, as he could still stand up in the water. The ISHOF notes that Kiefer had been hospitalized with pneumonia in recent months.
Kiefer won the 100 meter backstroke at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, setting an Olympic record that would stand for 20 years. He was also the first man to break one minute in the 100 yard backstroke, doing so as a high schooler in Illinois. He would go on to swim for the University of Texas.
Kiefer served in the U.S. Navy during the tail end of World War II and forged a career in business after his military service. Kiefer was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965 as a member of the first Hall of Fame class ever inducted.
Read the full story at https://swimswam.com/adolph-kiefer-passes-away-98-years-old/