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George Park Swimdownhill
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George Park's Bio

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  George Park's Bio

1952 - George trained to participate in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki Finland, but during his 1st heat (440 freestyle)which was his specialty event he lost consciousness after 200 yds and was pulled from the water. After this setback, George changed his specialty events to sprints only - 100 freestyle and butterfly. During this time, he also played waterpolo for the Hamilton Aquatic Club

1953. - After changing from mid-distance swimming to sprinting, he set new Canadian records in the 50 and 100 freestyle and butterfly

1954 - George set a new Canadian record for the 100 freestyle during the Canadian Championships and qualified to be a member of th 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He anchored two 2nd place finish relays and came 4th in the 100 freestyle - beaten by the top three swimmers in the world at that time from Australia.

March 1955 - The Hamilton Aquatic Club won the Canadian Waterpolo Championship with George swimming at centre.

April 1955 - Pan American Games in Mexico City. Placed 2nd to Clarke Scholes, the Olympic and World Champion for 100 mts.

July 1955 - Internation Meet in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio George placed 1st defeating the world champion, Clarke Scholes.

1956 - George set a new Canadian Records for the 50 yds and 100 mts freestyle, and qualified for the Olympic Games in Melbourne Australia. George was considered at the time to be within the top three sprinters in the world and his training indicated that he had a good chance to get on the podium. During the heats for the 100 mts freestyle, George was leading for the first 50 mts by a half body length then the unforseen happened... the turn marker in George's lane was three feet closer to the wall than it should have been??? When he went into his flip turn, he hit his head on the wall - was stunned, and came off the wall in 8th place. He caught everyone but the top three swimmers in the heat and finished fourth one tenth of a second behind the last qualifier.

1958 - George created new records for the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly and qualified for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff Wales. Again bad luck struck with George stepping into a pothole sustaining a green fracture in his right ankle. He still competed with his ankle wrapped in tensure bandages and contrubuted by helping the relay teams win medals.

My website name - Where did it come from?

In 1951 I was swimming in a provincial swimming meet in London Ontario Canada. Matt Man the USA swim coach came over to talk to me. He said George you have a very good stroke but you have to learn to swimdownhill. He then proceeded to tel me what swimming down hill was. He said "You must catch up to the bow wave that your body makes. Get your hands into the bow wave and then start to swimdownhill."

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