You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Alain Gottvallès

Alain Gottvallès

Full name: Alain Gottvallès
Gender: Male
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Born: March 22, 1942 in Casablanca, Grand Casablanca, Morocco
Died: February 29, 2008
Affiliations: Racing Club de France, Paris (FRA)
Country: FRA France
Sport: Swimming

Biography

Moroccan-born Alain Gottvallès was the first swimmer to finish the 100 m freestyle in less than 53 seconds, setting a new world record of 52.9 as the first swimmer of a French 4 x 100 m relay team at a 1964 Budapest competition. This performance, combined with his 1962 European title in the same event, made him one of the favourites. He could not live up to the expectations and placed 5th. This was in part due to some psychological warfare waged on him by eventual winner Don Schollander, who noticed the Frenchman was nervous and annoyed by Schollander. Hours before the race, Schollander followed Gottvallès to the toilets, and decided to wait behind him, even though other urinals were free. On top of his poor individual performance, the French relay team was disqualified in the relay final. Gottvallès retired after the Games, but his world record remained unbeaten until 1967, when it was broken by Ken Walsh. A tenfold French champion, he played minor roles in two films, but never broke through as an actor. He died of bone cancer, aged 65.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1960 Summer 18 Roma Swimming Men's 100 metres Freestyle France FRA 8 h1 r2/3
1960 Summer 18 Roma Swimming Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay France FRA 3 h1 r1/2
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming Men's 100 metres Freestyle France FRA 5
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming Men's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay France FRA AC r2/2 DQ
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay France FRA 6

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1960 Summer 18 Roma Swimming France Semi-Finals Heat One 8 58.5
1960 Summer 18 Roma Swimming France Round One Heat Two 2 QU 56.9
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France Final 5 54.2
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France Semi-Finals Heat Two 2 QU 54.3
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France Round One Heat Six 2 QU 55.2

Men's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank IST CTAS T
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France FRA Final AC DQ [54.0] [54.0]
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France FRA Round One Heat One 2 QU 54.8 54.8 3:42.1

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IST CTAS
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France FRA Final 6 8:08.7 2:01.2 8:08.7
1964 Summer 22 Tokyo Swimming France FRA Round One Heat Two 3 QU 8:17.0 2:05.2 8:17.0

Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IST CTAS
1960 Summer 18 Roma Swimming France FRA Round One Heat One 3 4:21.7 57.6 57.6