Although he is best known as Tarzan and one of the greatest pool swimmers of all time with 5 Olympic gold medals, one bronze and 67 world records, Johnny Weissmuller was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970.
Besides his frequent dips in the open water in his Tarzan movies, Weissmuller’s longest formal open water swim was the 3.2 km Chicago River Race. Although not known as a marathon swimmer, he accepted an assignment as the International Commissioner of Marathon Swimming and represented the sport of marathon swimming and the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation for many years which the community was extraordinarily grateful.
“One time at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies, we asked Johnny to make an introduction speech,” recalls Dale Petranech, Honorary Secretary of the IMSHOF. “He walked up confidently to the podium, smiled to the crowd, and gave the deepest, longest and most impressive Tarzan yell that anyone has ever heard. He then smiled and walked off the stage. It was a great speech.”
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