Mike Wenden took up swimming seriously when he was 12-years-old, after breaking a leg while trying to jump a paling fence, and was on the Australian national team from 1966-74. He first competed internationally at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, where he won golds in the 110 yd freestyle, 4x110 yd freestyle, and 4x220 yd freestyle.
The high point of his career came at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, despite the fact that Wenden had trouble adjusting to Mexico City’s high altitude and for two weeks could not swim and hardly sleep. Wenden’s first event at the Olympics were 4x100 freestyle relay, where he helped Australian to a bronze medal. In the 100 freestyle Wenden posted the fastest times in the heats and semi-finals, but was not considered the favorite, that role going to Americans Mark Spitz, Ken Walsh and world record holder Zac Zorn. In the final, Wenden took lead from Zorn at 70 m and finished strongly to win gold in a world record time of 52.2. He then helped Australia’s 4x200 free relay to silver and then the next day won the 200 freestyle by beating the favored Don Schollander by a full body length.
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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