The Life And Legacy Of Mike Troy

Courtesy of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.  Video show the 220 yard butterfly at the 1961 AAU Men’s National Championships held at Yale University won by International Swimming Hall of Famer and two-time 1960 Olympic gold medalist, Mike Troy

August 1961 Sports Illustrated Magazine cover with Mike Troy

Some people swim in the open water for fun and fitness.  Others race for medals and money.  Others do charity swims or try to set records for recognition.

But there are a few individuals who enter the open water because that is part of their job.

Mike Troy was a competitive swimmer who won two gold medals at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games (200m butterfly and 800m freestyle relay. He set world records in three events and broke the world record in the 200m butterfly six consecutive times.  He also a silver medal in the 200m butterfly and a gold medal in the 800m freestyle relay team at the 1959 Pan American Games.

For his exploits, Troy was later inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1971.

Following his retirement as a competitive swimmer, Troy became a decorated Navy SEAL and naval officer decorated for distinguished and heroic action in Vietnam.  He was awarded the Silver Star for combat service in the Vietnam War.

Earlier this week, Troy passed away at the age of 78.

Later, he was co-owner of the Gold Medal Swim School in Arizona, served as the Chairman of the International Section of the Olympic Committee and Vice President of the American Swimming Coaches Association.  Troy also served as the National Director of the USA Paralympic Swimming Team at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Pool racing, NCAA Championships, Olympic Games, Navy SEAL training, military work, scuba diving, combat diving, Troy was quite accomplished and experienced in the water.

One of his former swimmers, former Navy SEAL captain and English Channel swimmer John Doolittle fondly remembers his old coach, “Mike was like a second dad to me.  If not for Mike, I never would have gone in the SEAL Teams.  I never would have achieved so many lofty goals.  He taught me to try, to fail, and to try again.   And to never, ever, ever give up on what is important.  He taught me that perseverance and tenacity are two of the most powerful traits a man can have.”

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