Ian Black (swimmer)

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Ian Black
Medal record
Men's swimming
Competitor for  Scotland
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Gold 1958 Cardiff 220 yards butterfly
Silver 1958 Cardiff 440 yards freestyle
Silver 1958 Cardiff 4×220 yards freestyle
Competitor for  Great Britain
European Championships
Gold 1958 Budapest 400 m freestyle
Gold 1958 Budapest 1500 m freestyle
Gold 1958 Budapest 200 m butterfly

Ian MacIntosh Black (born 27 June 1941) is a Scottish former swimmer. He was BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1958 at the age of only seventeen and is still to this date the youngest winner of the award. He achieved this phenomenal feat by winning gold medals in three separate events at the European Championships in Budapest, competing as an adult.

In the same year he also won gold and silver medals for Scotland at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff; gold in the 220 yards butterfly, silver in the 440 yards freestyle and silver in the 4×220 yards freestyle relay.

In 1960 he represented Great Britain in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. In the final of the 200m butterfly he was placed 4th., posting the same time as the bronze medalist. He was a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay team which was also placed 4th.

He holds certain age-related British records to this day.

When competing for Great Britain, he would proudly display his Scottish identity by wearing a MacGregor tartan dressing gown poolside.[1] As well as excelling in the water, he was also a formidable rugby union player.

He is a member of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

In the late 70s he became Headteacher of Seafield Primary School in Elgin. He taught in Canada and he became headmaster of St Christopher's prep school in Bahrain. In the early 1980s he was headmaster of Sek Kong Primary School in Hong Kong before moving to Aberlour House school 1987-89. He later returned to his former school, Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, as headmaster of the Junior School, and retired in 2004.[citation needed]

Ian Black attended Aberdeen University where he was awarded an M.A. and a Certificate in Education.


  1. ^ "Black an original Scottish sporting icon". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2008-12-15. On the lighter side, he also wore at poolside a MacGregor tartan dressing gown, which has pride of place today in the National Museum beside the iconic silver camera that the BBC awards – eventually – gave to winners. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Soviet Union Vladimir Strushanov
Men's 400 metre individual medley
world record holder (long course)

6 June 1959 – 24 June 1960
Succeeded by
United States George Harrison
Preceded by
Wales Dai Rees
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
England John Surtees