Passages: French Olympian Alain Gottvalles, 65

PARIS, France, March 3. OVER the weekend, French Olympian Alain Gottvalles succumbed to bone cancer at the age of 65 according to an article at

As reported by Craig Lord, Gottvalles was "the first man to swim inside 53 seconds in the 100-meter free back in 1964."

Lord provides a great recap of Gottvalles' swimming career in his report, including an interesting anecdote about Ready Room psyche outs as first written by Michael J. Stott in the July 2000 issue of Swimming World.

"In Tokyo, Gottvalles was subjected to some pre-race pressure from the USA. Don Schollander, the man who would become the first swimmer to win four gold medals at one Olympics – stalked Gottvalles by following him into a large, empty public restroom before the 100m final. Faced with dozens of urinals, Gottvalles went to the middle of the bank to make a deposit. Instead of choosing a different urinal, Schollander stood inches behind the Frenchman, and hours later swam to victory in the 100m, leaving Gottvalles back in fifth."

Swimming World extends its condolences to the friends and family of Alain Gottvalles.

Full text of article.