SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Rewind: 30-Year Splashback – January 1977

By Jason Marsteller

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 21. TODAY, SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Rewind checks out this month in Swimming World Magazine's history 30 years ago in its latest Splashback feature. January 1977 proved to be the 17th consecutive issue penned and published by the Swimming World Magazine crew (as pictured to the right).

January 1977 Table of Contents
From the Top – 4
1976 Diving Peaks at Olympics – 6
World Swimming in Review – 8
Stanford Wins First NCAA Polo Title – 11
Commentary: Polo Had Better Act to Survive – 17
Teaching the Back Dive – 19
How They Train Peter Rocca – 20
Without Gabriel, No Pollack – 23
Miloslav Rolko–Heir Apparent to Matthes? – 24
Turns–The Winning Edge – 28
Your World of Swimming – 30
OVC–Your Ticket to the Nationals – 36
What Makes an Olympic Champion? – 61
AAU Meets -62
For the Record/Current Best Times – 76
Vox Pop – 92
Swimming World's 1976 World Best Times – 97

At 16 years old, Greg Louganis is already one of the premier divers in the United States. Originally from Samoa, Greg (5-7, 140) won a silver medal in the platform diving at the Montreal Olympics. Louganis, who lives in El Cajon, is coached by Dr. Sammy Lee. (Photo by Tony Duffy)

Here is an excerpt of "How They Train – Peter Rocca" written by his coach Nort Thornton that starts on page 20:

Peter Rocca is a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of California (Berkeley). He started swimming at the age of seven with a recreation program at Meadow Pools in Orinda, California. At eight, he joined the Aqua Bear Swim Club, also in Orinda, and trained under the watchful eye of Coach Ron Richison. Peter trained with the Aqua Bears for the next ten years.

Coach Richison has developed many national level swimmers, the most famous one probably being Karen Moe (now Karen Thornton). Karen was swimming world records in butterfly for Ron at the time Peter was developing. Obviously Coach Richison, now retired from AAU coaching, deserves most of the credit for developing Peter's fine techniques and talents.

During Peter's high school career at Campolindo High School in Moraga, California, also coached by Ron Richison, he averaged daily workout yardages of 8,000 yards his freshman year and gradually increased this to 12,000 yards as a senior. During this time be rarely used dry land exercise and it was obvious to me that even though he had shown great speed, he still lacked endurance and upper body strength.

Having Peter decide to enroll at Cal was a real boost to our new program here at Berkeley. Not only is he a talented swimmer, but he is a fine young man and a real leader. Once Peter was here on campus, we discussed what I felt it would take to put Peter on the U.S. Olympic team at Montreal. We set out on a program of dry land weight training and overdistance swimming with emphasis on stroke technique.

For the complete Swimming World Magazine article on the Peter Rocca, click here.

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Swimming World Magazine Back Cover January 1977

Peter Rocca in 1977.