Gary Hall, Jr.

Gary Hall, Jr.

"For his father, also an Olympian, see Gary Hall, Sr."MedalBronze|2004 Athens [cite web|url= |title=2004 Olympic Games swimming results |accessdate=2007-07-22 ] |4x100 m freestyle
(swam on preliminary, but not on final)

Gary Wayne Hall, Jr. (born September 26, 1974 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American swimmer who competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics and won ten Olympic medals (5 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze).

Hall is well known for his "pro-wrestling like" antics before a competition; frequently strutting onto the pool deck in boxing shorts and robe, shadow boxing and flexing for the audience.


His father Gary Hall, Sr. also competed in three Olympics as a swimmer (1968, 1972 and 1976). His maternal uncle Charles Keating III swam in the 1976 Olympics, and his maternal grandfather Charles Keating Jr., well known for his conviction in the savings and loan scandal of 1989, was a national swimming champion in the 1940s.


1996 Atlanta Games

In his first Olympics at the age of 21 in Atlanta, Hall had only 6 years of swimming experience yet he already had a well-known rivalry with Russia's Alexander Popov. Hall and his teammates dominated the relay events, but Popov continued to beat Hall in the individual events. The rivalry grew more bitter than ever. In an interview with the media, Popov said that Hall was incapable of beating him because he "comes from a family of losers." Hall responded by coming to his next event in leather motorcycle pants and executing his usual shadow boxing and flexing routine. Eventually, Hall would be defeated in the individual 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle by Popov.

Hall won two individual silvers and two team relay golds at the games including helping set the world record in both the 400m freestyle and medley relays.


In 1998, Gary Hall, Jr. was suspended by FINA for marijuana use. [cite web|url=|title=NY Times]

In 1999, Gary Hall, Jr. was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, commonly referred to as childhood or juvenile diabetes. Upon his diagnosis, Hall struggled with the possibilities and the effects he knew the medical condition would have on his life. Hall took a short hiatus from swimming, but returned in time to compete in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. There he won the 50m freestyle and placed second in the 100m freestyle. His 50m time, at 21.76 seconds set a new American record, beating the ten-year old record set by Tom Jager.

2000 Sydney Games

Hall's success continued in the 2000 Summer Olympics. He won the gold medal in the individual 50m freestyle, "tying" with his fellow American teammate Anthony Ervin, and won the gold and silver in the team relays. He also won the bronze in the individual 100 meter freestyle race.

Prior to 4x100m Freestyle Relay, Hall posted on his announced on his blog: "My biased opinion says that we will smash them like guitars. Historically the U.S. has always risen to the occasion. But the logic in that remote area of my brain says it won't be so easy for the United States to dominate the waters this time". Hall swam last in the team against Australian Ian Thorpe. Thorpe had a better start and came up a body length in front of Hall. Hall managed a lead but Thorpe fought back, ending the traditional American dominance of the event. The Australian team famously responded to Hall's remarks after the race by playing air guitar on the pool deck. Hall recalled the race saying “I don’t even know how to play the guitar...I consider it the best relay race I’ve ever been part of. I doff my cap to the great Ian Thorpe. He swum better than I did.”

2004 Athens Games

At the 2004 Summer Olympics Hall again won the gold medal in 50 m Freestyle. At 29, Hall became the oldest American Male Olympic swimmer since 1924 when Duke Kahanamoku competed. Despite having swum the fastest 50 in the year leading up to the 2004 Summer Olympics, he was regarded as a long shot to medal in the 50 m Freestyle. He also won a bronze medal for competing in the preliminary heat of the 4x100 meter freestyle relay.

2008 Olympic Trials

Hall failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Team after finishing 4th in the 50 Meter Finals at the US Olympic Swimming Trials on July 5th, 2008.

The Race Club

The Race Club is a swimming club founded by Gary Hall, Jr. and his father, Gary Hall, Sr. The club is designed to serve as a training group for some of the world's elite swimmers. To be able to train with the Race Club, one must either have been ranked in the top 20 in the world the past 3 calendar years or top 3 in their nation in the past year. The Race Club includes such well known swimmers as Roland Mark Schoeman, Mark Foster,Ryk Neethling, Ricky Busquets and Therese Alshammar. They are coached by University of California, Berkeley coach Mike Bottom, who was the coach of Hall and Anthony Ervin before the 2000 Sydney games.The Race Club also offers various swimming camps and clinics year round for young swimmers at their Islamorada, Florida based training center.

Keys Life

In the summer of 2006, Hall's sister, Bebe Hall, was attacked by a Blacktip reef shark near Islamorada while she and Gary were spearfishing, an attack for which his sister needed 19 stitches. [cite web|url=|title=2008 bio |accessdate=2008-07-05] Hall repeatedly punched the shark and his sister shot a spear into it, after which the shark swam off.


Hall has long been one of competitive swimming's most colorful personalities. He often shadow-boxes before a race and is known for wearing a boxing robe in lieu of the usual warm-ups. His eccentricity has won him a great deal of fans, but what some perceive to be "showboating" has drawn substantial criticism. He is also an outspoken critic of performance enhancing drug use in swimming, and is one of the few professional swimmers willing to publicly question the legitimacy of suspected individual accomplishments. In 2008, he compared International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Amy Van Dyken to disgraced track & field athlete Marion Jones, noting they were both involved with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) steroid scandal. []

Additional honors

*Former American record holder in the 50 meter freestyle.
*Humanitarian Award winner at 2004 Golden Goggle Awards.


* [ Profile]
* [ Profile from The Race Club Swim Camp]

External links

* [ Gary Hall, Jr.'s U.S. Olympic Team bio ... featuring Gary's tips on spear fishing, boxing]
* [ Official website]
* [ Official website of the Race Club]
* [ Thorpe Versus Hall: Whose Guitars Got Smashed?] from [ 101 Greatest Olympic Moments]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gary Hall Jr — Gary Hall Jr. Gary Hall Jr …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gary Hall Jr. — Gary Wayne Hall Jr. Datos personales Nacimiento Cincinnati (Ohio), Estados Unidos, 26 de junio de 1974 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gary Hall jr. — Gary Hall Jr. (* 26. September 1974 in Cincinnati) ist ein ehemaliger Schwimmer. Bei den Olympischen Spielen 1996 in Atlanta gewann er mit der US Staffel zwei Goldmedaillen; weitere Medaillen gewann er bei den Olympischen Spielen 2000 in Sydney… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall, Sr. — Gary Hall, Sr. (born August 7 1951 in Fayetteville, North Carolina) is an American ophthalmologist who practiced in Phoenix, Arizona who became famous during the late 1960s and the 1970s, as an Olympic swimmer for the United States.Hall first… …   Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall Jr. — Gary Hall Jr. (* 26. September 1974 in Cincinnati) ist ein ehemaliger Schwimmer. Bei den Olympischen Spielen 1996 in Atlanta gewann er mit der US Staffel zwei Goldmedaillen; weitere Medaillen gewann er bei den Olympischen Spielen 2000 in Sydney… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall — may refer to:* Gary Hall, Sr. (born 1948), American Olympian in 1968, 1972 and 1976 * Gary Hall, Jr. (born 1974), his son, American Olympian in 1996, 2000 and 2004 * Shequida (born Gary Hall), American drag queen, opera singer and actor …   Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall Sr. — Gary Wayne Hall Sr. (* 7. August 1951 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA) ist ein ehemaliger US amerikanischer Schwimmer.[1][2] Der Lagenschwimmer Hall schwamm zehn Weltrekorde, acht davon in Lagen Disziplinen. Er war der erste Mensch, der die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall — puede referirse a: Gary Hall Sr., (n. 1948) nadador olímpico de EEUU, y participante en las olimpíadas de México 1968, Munich 1972 y Montreal 1976. Gary Hall Jr., (n. 1974) nadador olímpico de EEUU, hijo del anterior, y participante en las… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gary Hall — ist der Name folgender Personen: Gary Hall Jr. (* 1974), US amerikanischer Schwimmer Gary Hall Sr. (* 1951), US amerikanischer Schwimmer Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gary Hall Jr. — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hall. Gary Hall Jr …   Wikipédia en Français

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