You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > John Jarvis

John Jarvis

Full name: John Arthur Jarvis
Gender: Male
Born: February 24, 1872 in Leicester, Leicester, Great Britain
Died: May 9, 1933 in Holborn, Greater London, Great Britain
Affiliations: Osborne SC, Manchester (GBR) / Leicester SC, Leicester (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Swimming, Water Polo

Medals: 3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze (6 Total)

Biography

Jack Jarvis won his first Olympic title in 1900 when he beat the Austrian Otto Wahle by more than a minute in the 1,000 metre freestyle. Eleven days later he won a second gold in the 4,000 metres freestyle with an even more resounding victory, finishing about 11 minutes ahead of the Hungarian Zoltán von Halmay. The fact that both races were swam with the benefit of the downstream current in the River Seine made a significant contribution to the fast times recorded. Jarvis won three more medals at the 1906 Games in Athens and made his third and final Olympic appearance in 1908. By this time he was 36-years-old and, after winning his heat in the 1,500 metre freestyle, he failed to finish the semi-final. Between 1897 and 1906 Jarvis won 24 ASA swimming titles representing Leicester SC, and in 1904 he was also the plunging champion. He won 108 major international races using a right overarm sidestroke with a special kick he had developed with Joey Nuttall, a leading professional of the time. This effective technique, known as the Jarvis-Nuttall Kick, enabled Jarvis to set many world records although none were ever so officially recognized by FINA. Jarvis was also a water polo international for 11 years, from 1894 to 1904. After his retirement from competitive swimming, Jarvis devoted himself to life saving techniques and was respectfully referred to as “Professor” Jarvis. He personally saved many lives including a well-publicized rescue when he brought in twin sisters. His sister Clara was chaperone to the British women’s swimming team at the 1912 Olympics and three of his daughters, all swimming teachers, went to Florida in 1968 to represent their father at his posthumous introduction into the Swimming hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1900 Summer 28 Paris Water Polo Men's Water Polo Osborne Swimming Club, Manchester GBR 1 Gold
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Men's 1,000 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR 1 Gold OR
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Men's 4,000 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR 1 Gold OR
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Men's 400 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR 3 Bronze
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Men's One Mile Freestyle Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Men's 4 × 250 metres Freestyle Relay Great Britain GBR 3 Bronze
1908 Summer 36 London Swimming Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR AC h2 r2/3 DNF

Men's Water Polo

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G
1900 Summer 28 Paris Water Polo Osborne Swimming Club, Manchester GBR Round One Match #1 1 1900-08-11 Osborne Swimming Club, Manchester 12, Tritons Lillois-2 0 6

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank M
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Great Britain Final 3 at 2 yards

Men's 1,000 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Great Britain Final 1 OR 13:40.2
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 14:28.6

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1908 Summer 36 London Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat Two AC DNF
1908 Summer 36 London Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Five 1 QU 25:51.6

Men's One Mile Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Great Britain Final 2 30:07.6

Men's 4,000 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Great Britain Final 1 OR 58:24.0
1900 Summer 28 Paris Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 1-01:48.4

Men's 4 × 250 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 34 Athina Swimming Great Britain GBR Final 3