Donald ("Don") Arthur Schollander
(born April 30
) is a former Olympic swimmer
for the United States
Schollander was born in Charlotte, North Carolina
, and learned competitive swimming from his uncle, Newt Perry
, who ran a swim school in Florida. As a boy, Schollander moved with his family to Lake Oswego, Oregon
. Though his first sporting passion was football
, he was too small to compete in high school football
. Instead, he joined Lake Oswego High School
's swim team, and in 1960, helped lead the team to an Oregon state swimming championship as a freshman
As a teenager in 1962, Schollander moved to Santa Clara, California
to train under swim coach George Haines
. Two years later at the age of 18, he won three freestyle events at the AAU
national championships. He made the U.S. Olympic team in two individual events and two relays. Months later, he won four gold medals and set three world records at the 1964 Summer Olympics
, the most medals won by an American since Jesse Owens
in 1936. His success helped earn him the James E. Sullivan Award
as the top amateur athlete in the United States, defeating runner-up Johnny Unitas
by a wide margin. He was also named ABC's Wide World of Sports
Athlete of the Year.
College and Olympic swimming
Schollander attended Yale University
and was a member of the Skull and Bones
secret society and the Delta Kappa Epsilon
fraternity along with the future President George W. Bush
. He was the captain of Yale's swim team
, winning three individual NCAA
championships. Schollander returned to the Olympics in 1968
, winning the gold medal in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay
, but finishing second in the 200 meter freestyle
, the event that Schollander had considered to be his best. This was the first Olympics in which 200 meter swimming events were part of the competition.
Following the 1968 Olympics, Don Schollander retired from competitive swimming and moved on to other activities.
Schollander was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame
in 1965, at the age of 19. In 1983, he was one of the first group of inductees into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. He is also a member of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
In 1971, he published his first book, Deep Water (ISBN 0720705428, with Duke Savage) chronicling his swimming, his teammates and coaches, and the behind-the-scenes politics of international swimming, especially the Olympic Games. He followed this book in 1974 with Inside Swimming (ISBN 0809289059, with Joel H. Cohen).
Schollander resides in Lake Oswego, where he runs Schollander Development, a real estate development company. His gold medals are on display to the public at a Bank of America branch location in downtown Lake Oswego. Schollander and his wife Cheryl have three children.