Monday, June 21, 2021

John Conards, ‘Wonder Boy’ Olympian swimmer, dies at 78


John Konrads, a former teen swimming sensation for Australia who won a gold medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the 1960 Rome Olympics and set several world records with his younger sister Ilsa, died in the Nusa area on 25 April. Eastern Australia, on the Sunshine Coast. He was 78.

His death, in a hospital, Was declared By Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Swimming World magazine said that he had been ill for some time.

The arrival of John and Ilsa in Australia’s swimming spotlight in the late 1950s transformed them into “Konrad Kids”. John, who set 26 individual freestyle records in his career, was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Flo., In 1971 with Ilsa.

John was a triple gold medalist at the 1958 British Empire and the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Ilsa won the 440-yard freestyle from the women.

In addition to capturing 1,500 meters at the 1960 Olympics, John, who was 18 at the time, won bronze medals as part of the individual 400-meter freestyle and 4X200 freestyle relay teams. The 16-year-old Ilsa competed in the 4X100 women’s freestyle relay team.

Both were once part of a wave of young swimmers who began to dominate the sport.

Former Yale and US Olympic Coach Bob Kipheth Told sports columnist Arthur Daley of The New York Times in 1964. “They are not interrupted by records.” “Swimming is now pushing many children 10 times as before,” he said.

Mr. Daly pronounced John Conards a “surprise boy of the 1960 Olympics”.

Janice Condras Jr., who later anglicized her name, was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia, on May 21, 1942, when the country was under German occupation during World War II. When the Soviet Union, which had invaded Latvia earlier in the war, re-established it in 1944, it was with its parents, Janice Sr. and Elsa, John, Ilsa, and an older sister, Eve, a refugee from Stuttgart, Germany Escaped to the camp. After the war, the family lived in West German camps for the homeless, then moved to Australia in 1949 and lived in the first migrant camps.

The land was marshy, bordering rivers and rivers. Dental technician Janice Konrads Sr. taught her children how to swim while watching the treacherous waters, as well as therapy for John, who had contracted polio and spent weeks in a hospital.

The family later moved to Sydney. While John and Ilsa attended an elementary school in the 1950s, Don Talbot, who taught there and would become an acclaimed international swimming coach, arranged a rigorous and innovative training program for him.

When he was 13, John was named as an alternate for Australia’s swimming team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics if a contestant was injured.

“The excitement was fantastic,” he said. “The delivery of the Olympic track suit was close to the biggest event of my life.”

But none of the Australian swimmers were hurt, so they did not compete in the 1956 Games.

John’s story is quite amazing; It is one of resilience and perseverance, ”said Kiran Perkins, two-time 1,500-meter freestyle Olympic swimming champion and now president of Swimming Australia, at the death of Konrads.

Konrads From 1961 to 1964 attended the University of Southern California. He majored in business but did not earn a degree, then returned to Australia to train for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. She qualified for the 4X200 meter freestyle team, finishing fourth in the finals.

He later took up swimming coaching and made a career in marketing. He was Australia’s director for personal-care products company L’Oreal and worked on Australia’s successful bid to land in the 2000 Olympics for Sydney.

While in the business world he was found to have bipolar disorder; He then promoted awareness of treatment programs.

Konrad’s survivors included his wife, Mikki, and his sister Ilsa. The full listing was not immediately available.

John and Ilsa Conrad’s “stay on top was brief, but so spectacular that it was never equaled,” International Swim of Fame Stated on its website. “He was the first of the Kiddy Corps to believe in the ability of the world to have very young swimmers who were able to work harder than adult athletes.

“They set multi-world records at an age when most of us can expect our children’s average to ‘What is it – she’s only 13?” The Conrads and their coach, Don Talbot, did not know that ‘children cannot swim that fast.’ ‘



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