Buddy Lucas (swimmer)

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Buddy Lucas
Personal information
Full name Frederick Ross Lucas
Born (1931-05-22)22 May 1931
Auckland, New Zealand
Died 18 October 2002(2002-10-18) (aged 71)
Auckland, New Zealand
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
College team University of Iowa

Frederick Ross "Buddy" Lucas (22 May 1931 – 18 October 2002) was a New Zealand swimmer and surf lifesaver.


Lucas was born in Auckland in 1931, the son of All Black Fred Lucas. He was educated at Mt Albert Grammar School, where he excelled at rugby and swimming.[1]

At the 1950 British Empire Games he won a gold medal as part of the men's 880 yards Freestyle Relay and two bronze medals in the 440 and 1650 yards freestyle races.[2]

Lucas won a swimming scholarship to the University of Iowa in 1951, becoming the first New Zealander to win a sports scholarship to the United States. Lucas travelled to Iowa via the United Kingdom, where he won the 220 yards and 440 yards freestyle events at the British championships.[1] In 1952, despite being rated the second-best swimmer in the British Empire, his nomination for the New Zealand team for the Helsinki Olympics was rejected.[3]

In 1954 at the Vancouver British Empire and Commonwealth Games Lucas won a silver medal as part of the men's 330 yards medley relay.[2]

After his return to New Zealand from Iowa in 1957, Lucas worked in his father's menswear store in Queen Street, Auckland, and later was a sales representative for May & Baker.[3] He was active in surf lifesaving, having joined the Piha Surf Life Saving Club in 1944,[4] and served as the club's president for 16 years.[1] In 1958 he won the men's open individual surf race at the New Zealand national surf lifesaving championships.[5]

Lucas died in Auckland in 2002 after a short illness.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c d Potter, Tony (27 October 2002). "Buoyant Buddy worked on water". Sunday Star Times. p. 11. 
  2. ^ a b Buddy Lucas - profile at the New Zealand Olympic Committee website. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Thompson, Wayne (26 October 2002). "Obituary: Buddy Lucas". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Buddy Lucas 1931–2002. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  5. ^ Romanos, J. (2001) New Zealand sporting records and lists. Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett.
  6. ^ Thompson, Wayne (24 October 2002). "Rescuers salute Piha's local hero". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 July 2013.