Michael Gross (swimmer)

Michael Groß (German pronunciation: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl ˈɡʁoːs], audio speaker iconaudio ; born 17 June 1964), usually spelled Michael Gross in English, is a former competitive swimmer from Germany. He is 201 centimetres (6 ft 7 in) tall, and received the nickname "The Albatross" for his especially long arms that gave him a total span of 2.13 meters. Gross, competing for West Germany, won three Olympic gold medals, two in 1984 and one in 1988 in the freestyle and butterfly events, in addition to two World Championship titles in 1982, two in 1986 and one in 1991.[1][2][3]

Michael Gross
Michael Gross 2014.jpg
Gross in 2014
Personal information
Full nameMichael Gross
Michael Groß (German)
Nickname(s)"The Albatross"
National teamWest Germany
Born (1964-06-17) 17 June 1964 (age 57)
Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, West Germany
Height2.01 m (6 ft 7 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb)
Sport
SportSwimming
StrokesButterfly, freestyle
ClubEOSC Offenbach
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing  West Germany
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 3 2 1
World Championships (LC) 5 5 3
European Championships (LC) 13 4 2
Universiade 1 1 0
Total 22 12 6
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 100 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul 200 m butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1984 Los Angeles 200 m butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1984 Los Angeles 4×200 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul 4×200 m freestyle
World Championships (LC)
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1986 Madrid 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1986 Madrid 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1991 Perth 4×200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1982 Guayaquil 100 m butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1986 Madrid 4×200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1986 Madrid 4×100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1991 Perth 100 m butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1991 Perth 200 m butterfly
Bronze medal – third place 1982 Guayaquil 4×200 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1982 Guayaquil 4×100 m medley
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Perth 4×100 m medley
European Championships (LC)
Gold medal – first place 1981 Split 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1983 Rome 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1983 Rome 100 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1983 Rome 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1983 Rome 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 100 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1985 Sofia 4×100 m medley
Gold medal – first place 1987 Strasbourg 200 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1987 Strasbourg 4×200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1981 Split 4×200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1983 Rome 4×100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1987 Strasbourg 100 m butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1987 Strasbourg 4×100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1981 Split 4×100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1987 Strasbourg 200 m freestyle
Summer Universiade
Gold medal – first place 1985 Kobe 200 m butterfly
Bronze medal – third place 1985 Kobe 100 m butterfly

CareerEdit

Gross was born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, and trained as a member of the swimming club EOSC Offenbach. He was probably the finest swimmer in the world in the 200-meter butterfly race from 1981 to 1988. In this period he set four world records, won two world titles, four European titles and two Olympic gold medals.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Gross was one of the great athletes of the games. Gross easily won gold in the 200-meter freestyle, dominating the field. In the 100-meter butterfly, however, Gross pulled off a bit of an upset, winning over the favorite in the event, American Pablo Morales. However, in the 200-meter butterfly, Gross himself was upset by a relative unknown, Australian Jon Sieben. The men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay race became one of the marquee events of the games, with Gross leading the German relay against the underdog American squad. Despite the fact that Gross swam the fastest relay leg in the event's history, the American team pulled off the upset, earning the title of the "Grossbusters."

Gross won a total of thirteen medals at the World Championships (including five gold), thirteen gold medals at the European Championships and was elected German "Athlete of the Year" four times (1982, 1983, 1984 and 1988). He retired from professional swimming in 1991.

He is featured in Bud Greenspan's 16 Days of Glory, the documentary film of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

American gold medalist swimmer John Naber remarked to Sports Illustrated in 1984 that if Michael Gross were an American, he would have won six or seven medals and that Gross was better than Mark Spitz.

Gross was named Male World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine in 1985 and inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995.[3]

Gross studied German and media studies as well as political science at the Goethe University Frankfurt and holds a PhD in philology. He married in 1995 and has a daughter (born 1996) and a son (born 1998).[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Michael Gross. Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Michael Groß". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees,Michael Gross (FRG). Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  4. ^ resume on his official homepage. Retrieved 4 August 2019

External linksEdit