Keith Carter (swimmer)

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Keith Carter
Personal information
Full nameKeith Eyre Carter
National team United States
Born(1924-08-30)August 30, 1924
Akron, Ohio
DiedMay 3, 2013(2013-05-03) (aged 88)
Asheville, North Carolina
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg)
StrokesBreaststroke, freestyle
College teamPurdue University

Keith Eyre Carter (August 30, 1924 – May 3, 2013) was an American competition swimmer, a six time All American[4], an Olympic silver medalist[5] and world record holder in the 200 yard breaststroke (long course)[6][7].

Carter was an usually gifted swimmer in both free style and breaststroke events. At the 1948 Olympic trials, he was second behind Wally Ris in the 100 m freestyle[8], and second behind Joe Verdeur in the 200 m breaststroke[9]. Carter tried out for the 4 X 200 m freestyle relay and was one of several swimmers who had already qualified in other events who slowed down in their heats or swam fast in the prelims and scratched themselves for the final to allow more swimmers to qualify for the US Olympic Team.[10].

At the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, Carter received a silver medal in the 200 m breaststroke in a three man American sweep of the event behind Joe Verdeur the gold medalist and ahead of Robert Sohl the bronze medalist. In the men's 100 m freestyle, Carter finished fourth in the event final[11] behind his teammates Wally Ris the gold medalist and Alan Ford the silver medalist, thus narrowly missing another American sweep of this event as well[12].

In 1949, Carter was the NCAA champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, National AAU Indoor 220 yd breaststroke champion and both times over his rival Joe Verdeur.[13][14][15] He did not compete in the 1949 National AAU Outdoor championships.

No other swimmer in the pre bifurcation era of the breaststroke and butterfly events prior to 1953, was able to compete in both freestyle and butterfly (breaststroke/butterfly) events and obtain as high a ranking internationally (2nd in breaststroke/4th in the 100 freestyle in the Olympics) in both events as is common today with the butterfly swimmers now using the dolphin kick.

Carter attended Purdue University, where he majored in electrical engineering, and swam for the Purdue Boilermakers. Before enrolling at Purdue, Carter served in the United States Air Force for three years as a bombardier during World War II.

Carter was also a Masters swimmer, breaking the world record in the 100 short course meters fly in the 65-69 age group in 1990 with a 1:24.43.

Carter died May 3, 2013; he was 88 years old.[16]

Preceded by

Joe Verdeur
Men's 200-yard breaststroke
world record-holder (long course)

1949 – February 21, 1952
Succeeded by

Bowen Stassforth
Preceded by

James Counsilman
Men's 300-yard breaststroke
American record-holder (long course)

May 10, 1948 – June 20, 1952
Succeeded by

Bowen Stassforth

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York Times 2 April 1949 Page 19
  2. ^ New York Times 26 March 1949 Page 12
  3. ^ New York Times 27 March 1949 Page S1
  4. ^ Purdue Men's Swimming & Diving Top Ten All Time 2016-2017
  5. ^ Page 124 1948 US Olympic Book-Report of the US Olympic Committee
  6. ^ Iowa City Press-Citizen 27 February 1952 Page 18
  7. ^ Escanaba Daily Press February 25, 1952 Page 8
  8. ^ Page 118 1948 US Olympic Book-Report of the US Olympic Committee
  9. ^ Page 120 1948 US Olympic Book-Report of the US Olympic Committee
  10. ^ New York Times 25 July 1948 Page S3
  11. ^ Page 121 1948 US Olympic Book-Report of the US Olympic Committee
  12. ^ Page 121 1948 US Olympic Book-Report of the US Olympic Committee
  13. ^ New York Times 26 March 1949 Page 12
  14. ^ New York Times 2 April 1949 Page 19
  15. ^ New York Times 20 August 1949 Page 15
  16. ^ "Keith Carter Obituary," Asheville Citizen-Times (May 3, 2013). Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  17. ^ New York Times 11 May 1948 Page 35

External links[edit]

  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Keith Carter". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.
  • Keith Carter – Sigma Chi profile at
  • Radio interview – "Purdue alum remembers 1948 Olympics, silver medal win" from