Gérard Blitz (swimmer)

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Gérard Blitz
Medal record
Competitor for  Belgium
Olympic Games
Men's water polo
Silver medal – second place 1920 Antwerp Team competition
Silver medal – second place 1924 Paris Team competition
Bronze medal – third place 1936 Berlin Team competition
Men's swimming
Bronze medal – third place 1920 Antwerp 100 m backstroke

Gérard Blitz (1 August 1901 – 8 March 1979) was a Belgian Olympic swimmer and water polo player during the 1920s.[1] Born in Amsterdam, he was the younger brother of Maurice Blitz, also a waterpolo player, and uncle of Gérard Blitz who founded Club Med in 1950.

Blitz was Jewish.[1] In the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Blitz won medals in both swimming and water polo. He was third in the 100 m backstroke, and was a member of the Belgian team who won silver in the water polo tournament. His brother Maurice was also a member of that team.

On 16 September 1921 he set a new world record for 400 m backstroke at 5:59.2, that lasted until 1927.

At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, the Blitz brothers were still part of the Belgian water polo squad. The team won another silver medal.

Twelve years later at the Berlin Games he won the bronze with the Belgium team. He played all seven matches. He was one of a number of Jewish athletes who won medals at the Nazi Olympics in Berlin in 1936.[2]

In 1990 Blitz was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He died in 1979 in Ganshoren.

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