Olympian and World Record Holder Brian Job Homeless and Mentally Ill

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 16. HE was the first high school swimmer to break the one-minute barrier in the 100 yard breaststroke on March 29, 1968. Exactly 45 years later to the day, Brian Job was released from the Santa Clara County main jail after a brief stay, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News.

So where did the 1968 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 breaststroke return to after his release? Back to the streets of Palo Alto, California, where Job lives as an “outdoor citizen.” According to a spokesperson from the Palo Alto Police Department, Job was arrested for interfering with firefighters attempting to extinguish a late-night barbecue fire he built in a restaurant parking lot.

It was a long fall into homelessness for the Olympic medalist, two-time US Olympic team member (1968 and 72) and former world record holder. At age 18 in 1970, Job held the 200 meter breaststroke world record (2:23.5), destroying the previous mark, a 2:25.4 set by Russia's Nikolai Pankin, by nearly two seconds.

According to family, Job's present situation is caused by mental illness.

“He's mentally ill and totally delusional,” Lisa Uzzell told Mercury News. “He's manic-depressive, but he thinks nothing is wrong with him, so he doesn't take his medication.”

At age 15, Job moved from Ohio to train under legendary Santa Clara Swim Club coach George Haines. It was a golden era for the club, whose members included Mark Spitz, Don Schollander, and John Hencken, the man that ended up taking Job's 200 breaststroke world record and the 1972 Olympic Gold medal Job was favorited to win. Job failed to even final in the event at the Munich Summer Games.

Read the full story at www.mercurynews.com/sports