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Bruce Hayes

Full name: Lawrence Bruce Hayes
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0 (183 cm)
Weight: 161 lbs (73 kg)
Born: March 8, 1963 in Sarasota, Florida, United States
Affiliations: UCLA Bruins, Los Angeles (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Swimming

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


Bruce Hayes swam for UCLA and was primarily a distance swimmer, helping them win the 1982 NCAA team title. He competed at the 1982 World Championships in the 400IM, and 400 and 1,500 freestyles, making the final of the 400IM. At the 1983 Universiade, Hayes won seven medals, including gold in the 200 freestyle, the only US men’s gold at the meet. He then won three golds at the 1983 Pan American Games, winning the 200 and 400 freestyle, and swimming on the wining 4x200 freestyle relay.

Hayes is best known for his Olympic anchor leg in the 4x200 free relay at Los Angeles. He went off the blocks leading but was competing against West Germany’s [Michael Groß], who had been the dominant swimmer in Los Angeles. Groß quickly caught Hayes, who then fought back and outkicked Groß on the last lap to win the gold medal for the United States.

Shortly after the 1984 Olympics Hayes came out as gay. In 1990 he became the first Olympic swimming gold medalist to compete at the Gay Games. He continued to compete in masters swimming, and competed several more times in the Gay Games, including into the 2010s. Hayes earned a masters’ degree in journalism from Northwestern and then started a career in public relations in New York City with Edelman, also working for a time in Madrid, Spain.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1984 Summer 21 Los Angeles Swimming Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay United States USA 1 Gold

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T ET ER
1984 Summer 21 Los Angeles Swimming United States USA Final 1 1:48.41 7:15.69 1
1984 Summer 21 Los Angeles Swimming United States USA Round One Heat One 1 1:50.04 5:30.02 1
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