Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tarzan Swam at the Downtown YMCA in Erie PA

Olympic gold medalist Johnny Weissmuller visited Erie, Pa on December 15, 1915 as a guest of YMCA director James C. Ainsworth. 

If the name Johnny Weissmuller doesn't ring a bell, it should. He was the star of a dozen Tarzan movies, starting with 'Tarzan the Ape Man' in 1932. He then played Jungle Jim in a series of movies (and later a TV series) during the forties and fifties.

Johnny got his start as a freestyle swimmer, winning five gold medals in the Olympics, three in 1924 and two in 1928. He also set 67 world records.

Johnny appeared at the Downtown Y on West 10th Street. "The largest audience ever to witness a swimming exhibition in this city jammed its way into the limited capacity of the Y.M.C.A. tank last night and was amply rewarded...The biggest upset of the program, however, was Bill Wright's triumph over Johnny Weismuller, world's champion swimmer, in a special 40-yard race...It was this same Wright that finished second to him last year in the Olympic trials that saw the Erie boy disqualified. -Erie Dispatch-Herald, December 16, 1925.

The 'Erie boy' that Weissmuller competed against was William Wright.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

No comments:

Post a Comment