Passages: American National Teamer Charley Siroky, 56

Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Charley Siroky, a standout at the University of Arizona who swam on national teams and medaled in international competition in the 1980s, died at the age of 56. He died unexpectedly on Sept. 17, but his family announced his passing this week head of a memorial scheduled for Oct. 17.

Siroky was one of the top American backstrokers in his day. A graduate of Brophy College Prep, he became a 14-time All-American at Arizona, including five individual honors.

On the national scene, Siroky qualified for the 1984 Olympics Trials in Indianapolis, where he finished ninth in both the 100 and 200 back. He represented the U.S. at the 1985 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, winning a bronze medal in the 100 back, and a gold medal at that year’s World University Games in Kobe, Japan, in the 800 freestyle relay (with Craig Oppel, Duffy Dillon and Matt Biondi). Siroky also captained the U.S. swim delegation to the inaugural Goodwill Games in 1986 in Moscow.

Siroky was born in Brussels, Belgium, to a military father stationed in Germany. The family settled in Phoenix, where he started swimming at age 5 at Dick Smith’s Swim Gym. Charley and his wife, Tammi, were both active in the athletic lives of their two children, Ryan (a hockey player) and Ella (a volleyball player and rower).

Information on services for Charley Siroky are available here, and a GoFundMe has been started to defray the costs of Ella’s college education.