Don Schollander is a professional swimmer. Don Schollander is the first swimmer to win four gold medals at one Olympic Games. Don was the 1964 Tokyo Olympics hero forty-four years ago.
Even though Don was an excellent athlete as a child, he struggled with swimming.
However, by the age of 12, he had improved so much that his family decided to send him to California for more training.
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Early Years & Family
Don Schollander was born on April 30, 1946, in Charlotte, North California, USA to Wendell Leslie Schollander and Martha Perry Schollander, Schollander was a native of Charlotte, North California.
Wendell worked as an insurance company executive and was a former all-state high school football player.
Outstanding swimmer Martha served as a swimming stunt duplicate for various motion pictures.
She also appeared in several Tarzan films, replacing Jane, who was played by Olympic gold winner Johny Weissmuller.
Wendell Leslie Jr., his younger brother, was an all-state football player in high school before switching to the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team.
When Don was still quite young, his family relocated to the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Football was Don’s first choice because both his brother and father had thrived at the varsity level while playing for North Dakota State University.
Don, though, felt that he was not as big a football fan as the other lads, so he opted for swimming instead.
He reasoned that he might succeed more if he concentrated all of his efforts on swimming.
Don Schollander’s exact net worth is unknown. But if Don had achieved success like to his in the present, he undoubtedly would have been among the richest athletes.
Don’s gold medals alone had such great value and worth since the time period in which he was at the height of his career was not better for swimmers to amass large fortunes.
Schollander started his own real estate development company and wrote two books after giving up competitive swimming.
As a result, Schollander leads a tranquil, contented life in New Oregon with his family.
Facts of Don Schollander
|Donald Arthur Schollander
|April 30, 1946
|Charlotte, North California, USA
|Wendell Leslie Schollander
|Martha Perry Schollander
|Wendell Leslie Jr.
|76 Years Old
|First Olympic Games
|Santa Clara Swim Team
|5 Gold and 1 Silver
|Jeb, Kyle, and Katie
|Lake Oswego, Oregon
|Autobiography Deep Water, Inside Swimming
Swimming and College
Schollander learned how to swim as a child at the Portland Aero Club. He swam the backstroke ten times faster than the national record for his age group.
Don’s father again encouraged him to attempt swimming when he enrolled at Oregon High School. When he was just a freshman, Don competed against high school seniors to demonstrate his swimming prowess.
Schollander competed in the Oregon state finals for two events during his freshman year and won both of them. Then, in his senior year, Don won every event he competed in.
As a freshman, Don led Lake Oswego High School to the Oregon state championship, displaying his unmatched talent at a young age.
His parents made the decision to relocate to Santa Clara, California in search of better possibilities after observing Don perform quickly as a swimmer in the neighborhood high school.
Schollander joined the Santa Clara Swim Club, where he was coached by George Haines. He developed into the best swimmer of his time there.
Schollander attended Santa Clara High School and graduated in June 1964, in addition to Swim Club.
Olympic Games of 1964
George Haines, who prepared Dan for the 1964 Olympic Trials, expressed certainty that Dan could triumph in any freestyle competition for which he was prepared.
Although the swimmer was strong in the intermediate distances, George was concerned that training Don for both the 100-meter sprint and the 1500-meter race at the same time would be foolish.
He concentrated Schollander’s training on the 100-meter race since he believed Don had the best stroke for it. The instructor was also certain that Don’s good stroking would be successful in any impending tests.
Schollander brought home four gold medals from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, thanks to George’s approach. In 1964, Don competed in the Tokyo Olympics.
Schollander won both the 400-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle, breaking both previous records.
Don earned gold for the USA’s 100-meter relay and 200-meter freestyle teams in addition to his victories in solo competitions.
1968 Mexico Olympics and Yale University
Schollander received the scholarship following the Tokyo Olympics and enrolled at Yale University.
Don resumed his swimming career at Yale and joined a fraternity there along with future US President George W. Bush.
He won gold in the 100-meter freestyle relay, 100-meter medley relay, and silver in the 200-meter freestyle at the Mexico City 1968 Games. In the 200-meter freestyle relay, he also won gold.
He was 18 years old when the Tokyo Olympics took place, and he knew he’d get another shot. He was 22 years old and felt he was done until he competed in the Mexico Games.
Even though Schollander had more experience, this made him more worried at the 1968 Olympics.
Awards and Successes
Schollander was highly regarded in his own USA for becoming the only swimmer to ever win four medals at a single Olympics.
Don, at 18 years old, appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1964 after winning all the gold. He was also given the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award for 1964 by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
This honor is given yearly to the amateur athlete who has displayed the best sportsmanship throughout the year through exceptional performances.
Don was honored swimmer admitted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965. He was also named Athlete of the Year on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
The gold medals won by Schollander are currently on display in a Bank of America branch in downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Schollander’s moment of greatness earned him worldwide acclaim and a place in sports history.
As everyone’s vision of a championship swimmer, he seemed to be a hero, earning the moniker “The Golden Angel.”
Schollander, on the other hand, did not make a lot of money. Most swimmers would retire after a short amount of time, and swimming was not well-known.
Schollander, then eighteen, won the gold medal in the men’s freestyle event at the 1964 Olympics.
Male swimmers’ careers would finish at the age of 22, while female swimmers’ careers would stop at the age of 18.
The greatness of Schollander was rapidly discounted. Unfortunately, his brilliance came before the era when great athletes could sign sponsorship deals, which was also unfamiliar territory.
Life Following Retirement
After his competitive career came to an end following the 1968 Mexico Games, Don continued to be active in swimming and the Olympics.
He became an athlete advocate and worked to increase the number of athletes represented in Olympic laws. For four years, he served on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s board of directors.
For the following four years, Schollander traveled to numerous Olympic venues for business. Legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman was with him.
He worked for a year in New York following his Yale graduation before moving to San Francisco for another year. Following that, he returned to his home in Oregon and launched his real estate company.
Don still swims with the local Master’s team on occasion, but he never competes.
The American flag during the 1964 closing ceremonies and earning the first Olympic medal rank among his fondest memories from the past, which he still cherishes.
Wife and kids
Don Schollander resides in New Oregon with his wife Cheryl, and their kids Jeb, Kyle, and Katie.
His wife Cheryl, a long-retired nurse for children with disabilities, is now a housewife.
Jeb, the 31-year-old oldest son of Don, assists in running the family’s real estate firm.
Kyle, a second son, is a student at Western Oregon University and is 22 years old.
Kyle is a member of the University’s football squad as a defensive end.
The eldest daughter, who is 18 years old, plays tennis and is a high school student.
Age, Height, and Weight
Don Schollander is 76 years old. Schollander is 79 kilograms and 5 feet 11 inches tall.
Don had an athletic body and was slender in his early years.
Social Media Presence
Schollander doesn’t use any social media sites. And it’s appropriate for him because he’ll be spending quality time with his wife and kids.