Gérard Blitz (swimmer)

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Gérard Blitz
Gérard Blitz 1922b.jpg
Gérard Blitz in 1922
Personal information
Born 1 August 1901
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Died 8 March 1979 (aged 77)
Ganshoren, Belgium
Sport Water polo, swimming

Gérard Blitz (1 August 1901 – 8 March 1979) was a Belgian Olympic swimmer and water polo player who competed at the 1920, 1924, 1928 and 1936 Olympics. He was the younger brother of Maurice Blitz, also a water polo player, and uncle of Gérard Blitz who founded Club Med in 1950.

At the 1920 Summer Olympics Blitz won a bronze medal in the 100 m backstroke, and a silver medal with the Belgian water polo team, which also included his brother Maurice. He failed to reach the finals of the 100 m and 4 × 200 m freestyle events.[1]

On 16 September 1921 he set a world record in the 400 m backstroke at 5:59.2, that lasted until 1927.[1][2]

At the 1924 Summer Olympics, the Blitz brothers were still part of the Belgian water polo squad. The team won another silver medal. Blitz also finished fourth in the 100 m backstroke swimming event. He had little luck at the 1928 Games, as his water polo team finished fifth, and he was eliminated in the heats of his swimming events. Eight years later, at the Berlin Games, he won his last Olympic medal, a bronze in water polo. He played all seven matches. Blitz was one of a number of Jewish athletes who won medals at the 1936 Nazi Olympics.[1][3][4]

Blitz died in 1979. In 1990 he was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.[2]

See also[edit]