David Berkoff

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David Berkoff
Personal information
Full nameDavid Charles Berkoff
National teamUnited States
Born (1966-11-30) November 30, 1966 (age 57)
Abington, Pennsylvania
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight154 lb (70 kg)
ClubBernal's Gator Swim Club
College teamHarvard University
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing the United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul 4x100 m medley
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona 4x100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul 100 m backstroke
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona 100 m backstroke
Pan American Games
Silver medal – second place 1987 Indianapolis 100 m backstroke
Summer Universiade
Gold medal – first place 1987 Zagreb 4x100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1987 Zagreb 100 m backstroke

David Charles "Dave" Berkoff (born November 30, 1966) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events. Berkoff was a backstroke specialist who won a total of four Olympic medals during his career at two different Olympic Games. He is best known for his powerful underwater start, the eponymous "Berkoff Blastoff".[1][2]


At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, he won a gold medal by swimming the backstroke leg for the winning U.S. men's team in the men's 4×100-meter medley relay in the event final. Individually, he also won a silver medal by placing second in the men's 100-meter backstroke event.[citation needed]

Four years later at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Berkoff earned another gold medal by swimming for the winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the men's 4×100-meter medley relay. He also won a bronze medal by placing third in the 100-meter backstroke.[citation needed]

Berkoff was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 2005.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LESSONS FROM LEGENDS, Berkoff Blast-off". SwimSwam. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  2. ^ "Seoul Anniversary: When the Backstroke Went Rogue: How David Berkoff and Underwater Power Changed the Event". Swimming World News. 2021-09-24. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  3. ^ "David Berkoff (USA)". ISHOF.org. International Swimming Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Men's 100-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

August 12, 1988 – August 25, 1991
Succeeded by