Full name: Haig "Harry" Prieste
Nickname(s): Hal Haig
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
Born: November 23, 1896 in Fresno, California, United States
Died: April 15, 2001 in Camden, New Jersey, United States
Affiliations: Illinois Athletic Club, Chicago (USA)
Country: United States
Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)
The son of Armenian immigrants, Prieste was born in California and represented the Los Angeles AC. Before the Olympics he had worked as a stuntman in Hollywood movies and was one of Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops. The Olympic bronze was the peak of his career and he was never to win any major title. His post-Olympic career was long and varied, he performed in professional diving shows, as a vaudeville comedian, an acrobat and even as a circus juggler. He learned to skate after the age of forty and went on perform in the Ice Follies.
Known in his showbiz career as Hal Haig Prieste, he also has an unusual claim to Olympic history. At the end of the Antwerp Olympics, spurred on by team-mate Duke Kahanamoku, he climbed a flagpole and stole the Olympic flag. For 77 years the flag was stored away until a chance conversation with a reporter about the disappearance of the flag at a USOC banquet. "I can help you with that", Prieste said. "It's in my suitcase." Prieste, by then 103 years old, returned the flag to the IOC and a special ceremony was held at the 2000 Games in Sydney. At 104 years, he was the longest-lived American Olympian.
|1920 Summer||23||Antwerpen||Diving||Men's Platform||United States||USA||3||Bronze|
|1920 Summer||23||Antwerpen||Diving||Men's Plain High||United States||USA||4 p3 r1/2|
|1920 Summer||23||Antwerpen||Diving||United States||Final||3||16||468.65|
|1920 Summer||23||Antwerpen||Diving||United States||Round One||Pool Two||3||QU||17||441.80|