Thompson Mann, 1984 ISHOF Honor Swimmer
Kept swimming to show Olympic medal no "fluke"
Thompson Mann (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1984. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:
For the Record: 1964 Olympic gold (medley relay). Two world records: (100-meter back) and medley relay. Four A.A.U. Nationals: (100-meter, 100-yard, 200-meter and 200-yard back) and two relays. Four American records: (100-yard and 100-meter back) and one relay. First man under a minute (100-meter back) 59.6.
There was no open 100-meter backstroke in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but Thompson Mann (USA) knew he had a shot at breaking his own world record (set in the U.S. Olympic trials) as the lead-off man in the 400-meter medley relay. He not only got the world record (so did the relay), but he became the first man in swimming history to go under a minute on his back. His time was 59.6. Thompson swam for Bob Alexander, Mr. "A", of North Jersey and for Pat Earey at the University of North Carolina. With Mr. "A" as their coach, Mann shared backstroke billing with Jed Graef in Tokyo, both setting world and Olympic records. Dr. Thompson Mann says "the Olympics were so much fun that I decided to keep swimming and prove my Olympic gold medal was not a fluke!" He went on in 1965 to win U.S. indoor and outdoor titles in both the 100 and 200 back, setting a world's best time and American record of 52.5 for the 100yard backstroke.