Gunnar Larsson (swimmer)

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Gunnar Larsson
Personal information
Full name Karl Gunnar Larsson
Nationality Swedish
Born (1951-05-12) 12 May 1951 (age 63)
Malmö, Skåne, Sweden
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 86 kg (190 lb)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Medley
Club SK Ran and Malmö SS

Karl Gunnar Larsson (born 12 May 1951) is a former swimmer from Sweden. He won the 400 m individual medley event at the 1972 Summer Olympics by 0.002 seconds over American Tim McKee, breaking the Olympic record.[1] This was the reason the rules were changed, and today swimming times are measured in hundredths of a second.

He also won the 200 m individual medley event at the same Olympic Games, setting the new world record.[1] Two years earlier, Larsson received the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal due to his swimming at the 1970 European championships where he won three gold (200 m medley, 400 m medley and 400 m freestyle) and one silver (200 m freestyle).[2] A year later, 1973, Larsson won the 200 m individual medley at the first official FINA World Championships in Belgrade.[2]

During his career, Larsson set three world and eight European records.[3] Together with Arne Borg he is considered as Sweden's greatest swimmer of all time. In 1979, he was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.[4]

Larsson retired from competitive swimming in 1973 and until 1980 worked as a swimming coach. Later he took miscellaneous jobs, mostly with McDonalds and the Swedish Swimming Federation (2000–2005); he also did one year of acting in 2003. Between 1974 and 2004 he worked as part-time swimming commentator with radio stations.

His mother died in 1960 when he was only 9 years old. In 1979, he married Marianne Larsson. They have three children: Lotten (b. 1978), Emelie (b. 1980) and Amanda (b. 1989).[3] His elder sisters, Karin and Kristina, are also former Olympic swimmers.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Gunnar Larsson.
  2. ^ a b Gunnar LARSSON.
  3. ^ a b Bo Hultén (2005). Tre olympiska Larssons från Malmö.
  4. ^ GUNNAR LARSSON (SWE) 1979 Honor Swimmer
Preceded by
United States Gary Hall Sr.
Men's 200 metre individual medley
world record holder (long course)

12 September 1970 – 24 August 1974
Succeeded by
United Kingdom David Wilkie
Preceded by
Ove Kindvall
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
Succeeded by
Stellan Bengtsson