David Larson

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David Larson
Personal information
Full name David Erwin Larson
Nationality  United States
Born (1959-06-25) June 25, 1959 (age 55)
Jesup, Georgia
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 174 lb (79 kg)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
College team University of Florida

David Erwin Larson (born June 25, 1959) is an American former competition swimmer who is an Olympic gold medalist and former world record-holder.

Early years[edit]

Larson was born in Jesup, Georgia in 1959.[1] In 1977, he graduated from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.

College career[edit]

Larson accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida,[2] where he swam for the Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition under coach Randy Reese from 1978 to 1981. Larson won two NCAA championships at Florida in the 800-yard freestyle relay (1979, 1981), and setting American and NCAA records. He finished second in the 200-yard freestyle to Rowdy Gaines of Auburn in 1981, but then out-swam Gaines on the final leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay to claim the NCAA championship in the relay. Larson earned twenty-one All-American honors and was national record holder in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Larson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1987, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."

International career[edit]

Larson was selected for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, but was unable to compete because U.S. President Jimmy Carter organized the boycott of the Moscow Olympics in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Larson was a favorite to win several medals in 1980. Larson was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Los Angeles, California and won a gold medal in the men's 800-meter freestyle relay team, beating the favored West German team, anchored by Michael Gross, and setting a new world record for the event (7:15.69). Larson was also named to several other U.S. National Swim Teams, representing the United States in international competition.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ databaseOlympics.com, David Larson. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, David Larson. Retrieved July 9, 2010.


  • Caraccioli, Jerry, & Tom Caraccioli, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, New Chapter Press, Washington, D.C. (2009). ISBN 978-0-942257-54-0.