Photos by Chesapeake Sports Club Member Linda Allen Clifton
Our May 12th Luncheon speaker was Thompson Mann, Olympic gold medalist, world-record holder.
Thompson Mann was born in Hickory, Virginia in 1943. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1984, for his career feats in winning a Gold Medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He held two world records in the 100-meter backstroke and the medley relay. He held 4 backstroke records plus 2 relay marks in the AAU Nationals. He also held 4 American records (100 yard and 100 meter backstroke) and 1 American relay mark.
Mann was the first man to swim under one minute (59.6) in 100-meter backstroke. Mann shared backstroke headlines with Jed Graeff of New Jersey in Tokyo, both setting world and Olympic marks. Mann proved his Olympic Gold Medal was no fluke by winning the 1965 U.S. Indoor and Outdoor titles in both 100 and 100-meter backstroke. Added testimony to his greatness was, while a junior in high school playing basketball he developed a malady of the lower back, which took him out of all sports for over a year.
Mann moved to Richmond at the age of 4, started swimming and subsequently swam for the Country Club of Virginia. He attended high school at Great Bridge and went on to the University of North Carolina. He was a two-time All-American on the swim team and held three Atlantic Coast Conference records. Mann completed his internship and residency in Medicine at the University of California and practiced in San Francisco until 1982, moving to Richmond where he now practices Internal Medicine.
Source: Virginia Sports Hall of Fame