John Konrads Biography – John Konrads Wiki
John Konrads was an Australian freestyle swimmer who dominated the Australian swimming scene during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Throughout his career he set 26 World Records and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985. He held numerous world records in 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m freestyle as well as relays, and represented Australia at three Olympics, 1956, ‘60 and ‘64. He is an Olympic Gold medalist (1500 Freestyle, Rome 1960) and triple Commonwealth Gold medalist (Cardiff 1958).
Retiring from swimming after the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, John developed strong communications and mentoring skills as a swimming coach in Sydney and later in Paris, France where he also started his business career.
Konrads had a distinguished career in Australian corporate life. For more than a decade he was Managing Director of the Australasian operations for the world’s largest personal care products company L’Oreal. He then went on to be General Marketing Manager for Ansett in the lead up to airline deregulation. In th first half of the 1990’s he was Chief Executive of the Melbourne Major Events Company where he was responsible for attracting many high profile events to the city including the Grand Prix.
Returning to the Olympic City of Sydney in 1996, he consulted in marketing, sports venue development and executive coaching. In 1999 he won the tender for managing the Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre, which was his principal focus until selling out in 2007.
His sporting achievements are recognized by membership of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
John Konrads was born in Riga, Latvia in 1942. He attended Revesby Primary School. He graduated from Sydney Technical High School and studied Business at the University of Southern California from 1961 to 1964.
John Konrads Age
He was born on 21 May 1942, in Riga, Latvia. He died on 25 April 2021, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He was 78.
John Konrads Wife
Was John Konrads married? He was married to his wife Marijke Dunder – nicknamed Mickey – from 1970 until his death on 25 April 2021.
John Konrads Children
John Konrads had three children.
John Konrads Family
He was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1942 and came to Australia with his parents Janis and Elza, grandmother, elder sister Eve and younger sister Ilsa in August 1944, initially staying in Germany. This came after Latvia’s occupation by German troops during the Second World War and then re-occupation by Soviet troops. Living in Germany until 1949, their application to immigrate to the United States was refused on account of the large size of the family. They were relocated to a camp at Uranquinty, which was previously a base for the Royal Australian Air Force, in rural western New South Wales.
John Konrads Sister
John Konrads had two sisters, elder sister Eve Konrads and younger sister Ilsa Konrads. John Konrads and his sister Ilsa rewrote the swimming world record books in the late 1950′s and early ’60′s. Known as the Konrads Kids, they established 37 world records between January 1958 and February 1960.
John Konrads Death
John Konrads died on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at the age of 78, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame announced in a statement. “The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) is mourning the passing of esteemed Member John Konrads (Swimming) who passed away at the age of 78 on Sunday, April 25, 2021,” SAHOF announced.
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair John Bertrand AO said: “As a swimming sensation in the 1950’s and 60’s, John Konrads dominated the world swimming scene, breaking every freestyle world record between 200m – 1500m by the time he was 15. His career tally of 26 individual world records is an incredible record. He was a proud Sport Australia Hall of Fame Member with an extravagant sense of humour who will leave a lasting legacy around the world.
Our condolences are with his sister Ilsa, the Konrads family and the many lives John touched within the swimming and broader communities.”
“Firstly, on behalf of Swimming Australia I’d like to send my condolences to John’s family, friends and loved ones – it’s a terribly sad time,” Swimming Australia President, Kieren Perkins said.
“John’s story is quite amazing, it’s one of resilience and perseverance. To arrive in Australia as a young boy from Latvia who couldn’t swim, to then attend an Olympic Games as a 14-year-old only a few years later is remarkable.
“During his peak in the 1950s and ’60s John dominated the Australian swimming scene and achieved sensational feats in the distance freestyle events. The 1500m race obviously holds a very special place in my heart and I was lucky to have role models and mentors like John shine a light on this event for Australia – his feats helped cement it as an iconic event for our country at every Olympics.”
John Konrads Cause of Death
John Konrads’ cause of death was not revealed. He passed away in Noosa Hospital after a long illness.
He was 1.79 m (5 feet 10 inches).