Jack Medica

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Jack Medica
Jack Medica, Noboru Terada, Shunpei Uto 1936.jpg
Jack Medica, Noboru Terada and Shunpei Uto at 1936 Olympics
Personal information
Full name Jack Chapman Medica
National team  United States
Born (1914-10-15)October 15, 1914
Seattle, Washington
Died April 15, 1985(1985-04-15) (aged 70)
Carson City, Nevada
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Washington Athletic Club
College team University of Washington

Jack Chapman Medica (October 5, 1914 – April 15, 1985) was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events.

At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Medica won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle and set a new Olympic record at 4:44.5,[1][2] becoming the only American swimmer to win a gold medal at the Berlin Olympics.[3] He received a silver medal for his second-place performance in the 1,500-meter freestyle, recording a final time of 19:34.0.[1][4] Medica also received a second silver medal as a member of the runner-up U.S. team in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay, together with American teammates Ralph Flanagan, John Macionis and Paul Wolf.[1][5] The American relay team finished with a time of 9:03.0, behind the winning Japanese team.[1][6]

After his retirement from competition swimming, brought on by World War II, Medica taught water survival for the U.S. Navy after his impaired vision kept him from enlisting. He went on to teach at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also coached the Penn Quakers swimming and diving team.[1]

During his elite career, Medica won 10 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) individual national titles and set 11 world records in distances ranging from 200 meters to one mile.[7] His 200-meter freestyle record set in 1935 stood for nine years, and his 400-meter freestyle record of 1934 stood for seven years.[1] He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1966.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Jack Medica. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  2. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, Men's 400 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Jim Daves; Tom Porter; W. Thomas Porter (November 17, 2000). The Glory of Washington: The People and Events That Shaped the Husky Athletic Tradition. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-58261-221-8. 
  4. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, Men's 1500 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, United States Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay Final. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  7. ^ a b International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Jack Medica (USA). Retrieved January 29, 2013.
Preceded by

Shozo Makino
Men's 400-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

August 30, 1934 – May 13, 1941
Succeeded by

Bill Smith
Preceded by

Johnny Weissmuller
Men's 200-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

April 12, 1935 – February 12, 1944
Succeeded by

Bill Smith