By Phillip Whitten
DALLAS, Jan. 23. RICARDO Prado, one of South America's greatest swimmers and a former world record-holder in the 400 meter individual medley, suffered a "mild" heart attack early last Saturday morning.
Prado, 38, had arrived from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he coaches swimming, to visit his sister and take in the Dallas Morning News Classic. He was staying with Eddie Sinnott, head men's coach of Southern Methodist University.
After complaining of chest pains late Friday night, Prado was rushed to a local hospital, where an angioplasty was performed after it was confirmed that he had blockages in three of his arteries.
Prado was released from the hospital and will remain in Dallas for about ten days before flying home to Brazil, according to Coach Sinnott.
In the early- and mid-eighties, Ricky Prado was the world's dominant swimmer in the individual medley. At the 1982 World Championships in Guayaquil, he broke Jesse Vassallo's world record in the event, becoming the first swimmer to crack the 4:20 barrier with his 4:19.78.
The following year, Prado won the 200 and 400 IM at the Pan American Games, and was second in the 200 fly.
At the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Prado broke his own world record in the 400 IM, clocking 4:18.45, but finished second to Canada's Alex Baumann (4:17.41). Prado's 4:18 still stands as the Brazilian and South American record.