Don McKenzie (swimmer)

Don McKenzie (swimmer)

Don McKenzie
McKenzie wearing 1968 Olympic gold medals
Personal information
Full name Donald Ward McKenzie, Jr.
Nickname(s) "Don"
National team  United States
Born (1947-05-11)May 11, 1947
Hollywood, California
Died December 3, 2008(2008-12-03) (aged 61)
Reno, Nevada
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 176 lb (80 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Breaststroke
Club Bloomington Swim Club
College team Indiana University

Donald Ward McKenzie, Jr. (May 11, 1947 – December 3, 2008) was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder.[1][2]

McKenzie attended Indiana University, where he swam for coach Doc Counsilman's Indiana Hoosiers swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition during the late 1960s. He won an individual NCAA national championship in the 100-yard breaststroke while swimming for the Hoosiers.[3]

He competed at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, where he received a gold medal for winning the men's 100-meter breaststroke. He won a second gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. team in the men's 4×100-meter medley relay. The first-place team of Charlie Hickcox, McKenzie, Doug Russell and Ken Walsh set a new world record time of 3:54.9 in the event final.[4]

McKenzie was inducted as an "Honor Swimmer" into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989.[5] In 2000, he was inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame.[6] He was also inducted posthumously into the Los Angeles Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.[7]

McKenzie continued to swim after the Olympics. He became a Masters swimmer with the Sierra Nevada Masters and held the men's 50–54 age group 100-yard national breaststroke record with a 1:01.02 in 1998. His record stood until 2010.[8]


  • Personal life 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Personal life

As the President of Practice Management Services, he created and supported computer software and systems for medical, dental, and small businesses. He was a real estate investor, counselor, and licensee with Remcor in Reno. [9] He enjoyed the Sierra Nevada Masters and the Pacific Masters Swimming groups as well as golfing, skiing, target shooting, wood working, and racing cars, striving for excellence in all things.

Don was diagnosed with a Stage IV brain tumor (a glioblastoma) in the summer of 2007.[10] He died on December 3, 2008 due to complications resulting from his brain tumor and was survived by his father and mother, Don and Clarice McKenzie; wife, Syd McKenzie; children, Amy, Ryan and (Andrea), Anne, Emily, and Amanda McKenzie; new granddaughter, Naomi Mackenzie; siblings, Bob and (Kathy) McKenzie and Suzanne and (Steve) Wortman, and a loving family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends.[9]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Indiana University Archives"
  4. ^ "1968 Olympics – Mexico City, Mexico – Swimming" – (Retrieved on May 1, 2008)
  5. ^ International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Don McKenzie. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Honoree: Search Awards: University Honors & Awards: Indiana University
  7. ^
  8. ^ USMS Short Course Yard Nationals: National Records Fall In Bunches | Swimming World News
  9. ^ a b Don W. McKenzie Jr. Obituary: View Don McKenzie's Obituary by Reno Gazette-Journal
  10. ^ Glioblastoma | American Brain Tumor Association

External links

  • Don McKenzie – Olympic athlete profile at
  • Don McKenzie (USA) – Honor Swimmer profile at International Swimming Hall of Fame