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Old 01-04-2009
AWP AWP is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default Passing

The swimming world loses an 'innovator'; for the 2bk.

(excerpts from obit.)
Roy Saari, gold-medal swimmer at '64 Olympics, dies
Los Angeles Times
January 4, 2009
Roy Saari, a USC swimmer whose unusual kicking style propelled him to swim the first sub-17-minute 1,500-meter freestyle race and later win a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics, has died. He was 63.

On Friday, Peter Daland, who was Saari's coach at USC, called him "the greatest swimmer of his time." Saari - pronounced "sorry" - was only the second swimmer to win nine NCAA individual championships, making his mark between 1964 and 1966. His four world records included breaking the 17-minute barrier in the 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 16:58.7 at the 1964 U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

At the 1964 games in Tokyo, Saari won a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay and a silver in the 400-meter individual medley. He finished seventh in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the Olympics, partly because he was fighting a cold, Daland said.

In 1964, Los Angeles Times columnist Sid Ziff called Saari "the latest world swimming sensation" while describing his curious kicking style - a strong scissors kick combined with a glide.

"Saari uses one kick where orthodox swimmers use six flutter kicks to every double arm stroke," Ziff wrote.

Saari's approach pioneered innovations in distance swimming and elite swimmers eventually started using versions of his kick, Coach & Athletic Director magazine reported in 2003.
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