The first American to win an Olympic Gold medal in swimming at the 1904 games in St. Louis was born today in 1885. Now WE know em

Charles_Meldrum_Daniels

Charles Meldrum Daniels was born March 24, 1885 in Dayton, Ohio.

Daniels began his swimming career with the New York Athletic Club in 1903, where he was also a squash and bridge champion.

He perfected the two-beat Australian crawl, changed it slightly, added a six-beat kick to the front crawl, and renamed it the American crawl.

 1904 Olympics

1904_NYAC_Olympic_Swim_Team

At the 1904 Olympics held in St. Louis, Missouri, Daniels won gold medals in both the 200 and 400 meter freestyle races. Gold medal in the 4×50 yard freestyle. Silver medal in the 50 yard freestyle and Bronze in the 50 yard freestyle.

Daniels, more than any other swimmer before him, brought the United States into a world swimming power.

Daniels went on to win seven Olympic medals (4 Gold, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze).

Then within a period of four days in 1905, Daniels posted 14 world records.

On March 23, 1906, Daniels reduced his world record to 56.0—then cut his own record to 55.4 on September 7, 1907– and again to 54.8 on April 7, 1910.

Daniels also brought home Gold in the 100 meter freestyle at the 1906 Athens Intercalated games.

At the 1908 London Olympics, Daniels earned the Gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle and Bronze in the 4×200 meter freestyle.

Daniels was picked as the North American athlete of the year for 1909 by the Helms Hall athletic board.

When Daniels retired from swimming in 1911, he had won 53 national titles, and won over 300 races.

He set world freestyle records at every distance from 25yards to one mile and his 33 national championships were over all distances on the indoor as well as the outdoor programs.

1904 olympics

1904 Olympics, St. Louis Missouri

Daniels later went on to become  a top amateur golfer.

He died August 9, 1973 at the age of 88.

Daniels was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an “Honor Swimmer” in 1965.

 

Now WE know em

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