Wally Ris

Wally Ris
Personal information
Full name Walter Steven Ris
Nickname(s) "Wally"
National team  United States
Born (1924-01-04)January 4, 1924
Chicago, Illinois
Died December 25, 1989(1989-12-25) (aged 65)
Mission Viejo, California
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Chicago Town Club
College team University of Iowa

Walter Steven Ris (January 4, 1924 – December 25, 1989) was an American competition swimmer, two-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder.

Ris won two gold medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England.[1] He received his first gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. team in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and set a new world record of 8:46.0 with American teammates Jimmy McLane, Wally Wolf and Bill Smith.[2] In individual competition, he won a second gold in the men's 100-meter freestyle (57.3), finishing a half-second ahead of U.S. teammate Alan Ford (57.8).[3]

Ris was a star swimmer at Crane Technical High in Chicago. He then attended the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the Iowa Beta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and swam for the Iowa Hawkeyes swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Big Ten Conference competition from 1947 to 1949. He was the NCAA national champion in the 100-yard freestyle in 1948 and 1949.[4]

Ris was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1966.[5]

He was born in Chicago, Illinois and died in Mission Viejo, California.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Biography and Statistics at Sports Reference. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  2. Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1948 London Summer Games, Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay Final. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  3. Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1948 London Summer Games, Men's 100 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  4. http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/iowa/sports/c-swim/auto_pdf/allamericans.pdf
  5. International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Wally Ris (USA). Retrieved March 6, 2015.
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