/ 27 April 2021

Vale John Konrads

Aussie swimming icon John Konrads died on Sunday at 78yo, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame confirmed yesterday. Born in Latvia, his family moved to Australia in 1949, where Konrads began swimming as part of his recovery from polio. Catching the attention of legendary swim coach Don Talbot (who died last year), Konrads shot to fame after setting 26 individual freestyle world records for every distance between 200-1500m by the time he was 15yo. The kid was quick… And in 1960, he struck gold at the Rome Olympics in the 1500-metre freestyle event. Out of the pool, Konrads established himself in the business world as cosmetics giant L’Oreal’s Australasian boss before starting his own advertising firm. Fellow Olympic 1500m champ Kieran Perkins yesterday said: “I was lucky to have role models and mentors like John shine a light on this event for Australia – his feats helped cement it as an iconic event for our country at every Olympics.”

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