John (Jon) KONRADS

Australia AUS

Swimming

  • Olympic Medals
    1 G
    2 B
  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    Rome 1960
  • Year of Birth
    1942
Olympic Results

Biography

John (Jon) KONRADS

Born in Latvia, John Konrads’ family left for Germany in August 1944, fleeing from the Soviet troops who reoccupied Latvia after the German occupation of 1941-44. The Konrads family stayed in Germany at a refugee camp until 1949, when they were relocated to Australia after the United States refused their immigration application on account of the family’s large size.

Taught to swim by his father, John Konrads was selected for the Australian 1956 Olympic team as a reserve after winning the national 440 yds freestyle junior title. But his breakthrough year as an international swimmer came in 1958, establishing himself as the best freestyle swimmer in the World in the late 1950s. In January 1958, in the space of eight days, Konrads set freestyle world records in the 200 metres (2:04.8), 220 yards, 400 metres (4:25.9), 440 yards, 800 metres (9:17.7) and 880 yards. He set another eight world records in February and March 1958, and won the 220, 440 and one mile freestyles at the Australian Championships.

At the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Konrads won the 440 yds, one mile and 4x220 yds freestyle relay gold medals. In 1959 he set six world records in the same six events as he did in January the previous year, including 2:02.2 for 200 m, 4:21.8 and 4:19.0 in the 400, and 8:59.6 for 800 m, and was the first person to sweep the freestyle events from 110 yds to 1 mile at the Australian Championships, winning the Helms Award as the best Australian athlete of the year. In 1960, Konrads won the 220, 440, and one mile freestyles at the Australian championships and, after setting world records of 4:15.9 in 400 m, 17:11.0 in 1,500 m freestyle and 8:16.6 in the 4x2 free relay, went to the 1960 Olympics as a heavy favorite in the 400 and 1,500.

At the Olympics, Konrads surprisingly did not win the 400 in his first event at the Olympics, barely taking bronze after a photo finish, but a couple of days later easily won the 1,500, and then added a bronze in the 4x200 free relay. After the Olympics, Konrads enrolled at the University of Southern California, graduating with a marketing degree, but he never reached his levels of 1958-60 and although he tried to defend his 1,500 m Olympic title in 1964, he qualified only for the Australian 4x200 relay team, swimming in the heats at the Olympics.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 1964

#4
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay Swimming
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Rome 1960

B
400 metres Freestyle
400 metres Freestyle Swimming
G
1,500 metres Freestyle
1,500 metres Freestyle Swimming
B
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay Swimming
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Melbourne 1956

#DNS
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay Swimming