You Are Here > > > John Davies

John Davies

Full name: John Griffith Davies
Gender: Male
Born: May 17, 1929 in Willoughby, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliations: Michigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor (USA)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Swimming

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


The top breaststroker of the world at the start of 1950s, John Davies rose to prominence in 1946, when he won both breaststroke events at the New South Wales championships. In 1947 and 1948 Davies won both 220 yds breaststroke and medley relay titles at the Australian championships and earned a spot on the 1948 Australian Olympic team. At the Olympics, Davies competed in the 200 metre breaststroke, finishing fourth. Although the timekeepers recorded him at 0.2s faster than the bronze medalist [Bob Sohl], the judges believed that Sohl had touched first and awarded him the bronze.

After the London Olympics, Davies enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he studied political science and law. He continued to swim, winning silver in the 200 yds breaststroke at the 1948 NCAA Championships and at the AAU Meet, won gold in the 1951 200 breaststroke, and indoors in the 1952 200 short course breaststroke. These results earned him a spot on the 1952 Australian Olympic team without competing at the Australian Championships. Considered as a favorite for 200 breaststroke gold after setting a new 200 yd world record earlier this year, Davies did not disappoint, winning gold with a strong finish after trailing by two seconds at midway.

Davies retired from swimming after the 1952 Olympics and returned to the United States to continue his studies at the University of Michigan. He later transferred to UCLA, where he completed his degree in 1959. After graduation, Davies settled in Pasadena, California and became a naturalized US citizen, passing the bar examinations to become an attorney.

From 1960-71 Davies was associated with, and then became a partner of Hagenbaugh, Murphy & Davies where he specialized in litigation and tried many cases in the areas of personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice, construction, and insurance coverage. Davies joined Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman in 1971, becoming a partner in 1972, practicing litigation, and representing major motion picture studios and entertainment companies.

In 1986, Davies was nominated to a seat on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He presided over the trial of a group of Los Angeles Police Department officers charged in relation to the Rodney King incident in 1992. In 1993 he was named District Judge of The Year by the Criminal Justice Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and received the Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition for Exemplary Performance. He also received the Daniel O’Connell Award from the Irish-American Bar Association.

Davies retired from the bench in 1998 and later continued to practice law privately, mostly as a private arbitrator. Davies was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in 1984 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1992.

Personal Bests: 200 m breaststroke – 2:29.3 (1951).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 19 London Swimming Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Australia AUS 4
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Australia AUS 1 Gold

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1948 Summer 19 London Swimming Australia Final 4 2:43.7
1948 Summer 19 London Swimming Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 4 q 2:44.8
1948 Summer 19 London Swimming Australia Round One Heat Four 2 Q 2:48.3
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming Australia Final 1 OR 2:34.4
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 1 Q/=OR 2:36.8
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming Australia Round One Heat Two 1 Q 2:39.7
id: 45,186