David Wilkie (swimmer)

David Wilkie (swimmer)
David Wilkie
Personal information
Full name David Andrew Wilkie
Nationality British
Born 8 March 1954 (1954-03-08) (age 57)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 76 kilograms (170 lb)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Medley and breaststroke

David Andrew Wilkie MBE (born 8 March 1954) is a Scottish former swimmer, who was Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion in the 1970s.

He is a member of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.


David Wilkie was born in Sri Lanka, the offspring of Scottish parents who were stationed in that country.

He was a pupil of Daniel Stewart's College in Edinburgh, and while a student there he joined the Warrender Baths Club, one of Scotland's most prestigious swimming and water polo clubs. It was there that he began to develop his specialist stroke, the breaststroke.

Wilkie first came to the public's attention when he won bronze in front of his home crowd in the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in the 200 metre breaststroke.

He wore a swim cap for that event during the commonwealth games, making him the first elite swimmer to wear one in a major competition.

Wilkie's world breakthrough came as a surprise to many when he won silver in the 200 m breaststroke at the Munich Olympics in 1972. He had acquired the reputation of avoiding hard work and not being sufficiently committed. However, it was clear from this performance that he had outstanding natural ability.

In the 1974 Commonwealth Games, in Christchurch, New Zealand, he won silver in the 100 metre breaststroke, a gold in the 200 metre breaststroke and a further gold in the 200 m individual medley.

However, it was after several years of intensive training, at the University of Miami, that Wilkie's finest hour came. He won gold in the 200 metre breaststroke at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, in a world-record time and preventing an American Sweep of the Men's swimming gold medals. He later added a 100 metre silver medal to his collection.

In 1977 he was appointed MBE.

Since his retirement, Wilkie has remained active in the world of swimming, involved in swimming aids and technology. He was said to be the first swimmer to wear a head-cap and goggles together in competition to improve the streamline effect within the water.

His swimming coach was Dave Haller.

External links

Preceded by
Sweden Gunnar Larsson
Men's 200 metre individual medley
world record holder (long course)

24 August 1974 – 23 August 1975
Succeeded by
Canada Graham Smith

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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