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Adolph Kiefer
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Swimmer
    (June 27, 1918-May 5, 2017)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    First person to swim the 100-yard backstroke in less than a minute (1935)
    Won the gold medal in 100-meter backstroke at the Berlin Olympics (1936)
    Established Adolph Kiefer & Associates to produce training, safety and competition equipment for swimmers
    Held 17 patents
    Inventions included the kickboard and first turbulence-reducing lane divider
    Inaugural member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1965)
    Was last surviving gold medalist from the Berlin Olympics
    He specialized in the backstroke because he hated getting water in his nose.
    At Berlin, Adolf Hitler shook his hand and called him ‘a perfect example of the true Aryan.’
    He turned down a chance to portray Tarzan in the movies (1946).
    He set his first world record at age 16.
    At Berlin, he set an Olympic record that lasted twenty years, despite swimming outdoors in a heavy rain while wearing a full-body wool swimsuit.
    He said later about his encounter with Hitler, ‘If I had known then what I know now, I would have thrown him in the pool and drowned him.’
    During World War II, he was in charge of the Navy’s swimming safety program, training thousands of instructors in survival techniques that were then taught to millions of sailors.
    He said, ‘The biggest thing I did in my life was not the gold medal. It was going into the Navy and saving lives.’
    In the 1960s he built swimming pools in inner city Chicago, providing facilities for thousands of children to learn to swim.
    He was married to Joyce Kainer for 73 years.

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2018, as of last week, Out of 8 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 177 Votes: 51.41% Annoying
 
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