Gary Hall Sr.

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Gary Hall Sr., USA Olympic Medalist
Gary Hall Sr. and Penny Palfrey in the Cayman Islands
Gary Hall Sr., USA Olympic Medalist

Gary Wayne Hall, Sr. (born 7 August 1951 in Fayetteville, North Carolina) is an American ophthalmologist who practiced in Phoenix, Arizona. He was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1981.

He became famous during the late 1960s and the 1970s as an Olympic swimmer for the United States. He is now living in Florida and has regained his popularity through the Race Club where he shares his knowledge, passion and expertise on swimming, dryland training and open water swimming.

His recent expansion into the open water swimming community is achieved by interviewing, filming and studying ways to improve one's speed in the open water and to enhance one's performance under various racing conditions. His content and properties are broadcast via The Race Club website and network together with sons Gary Hall Jr. and Richard Hall. He is the host of the Race Club's Swimisodes program.

He coined the term swipping in 2015.

Swimming Career

Hall first went to represent the United States in the 1968 Olympic Games held at Mexico City, Mexico. Two years later he broke the world record in the 200 m butterfly and collected 10 world records during his career.

His undergraduate swimming occurred at Indiana University under coach James Counsilman where he specialized in the individual medley. Hall was elected captain of the swimming team in his senior year. In academics, Hall excelled in the classroom and was consistently cited by the NCAA as an outstanding example of student-athlete. He was accepted for medical school at the University of Cincinnati.

At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he earned a silver medal during those games. His final Olympic appearance was at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. Hall made it a point to vigorously exercise in the swimming pool after daily med-school classes. His wife, the former Mary Keating, being from a swimming family, understood his love of the water. In the Montreal Opening Ceremonies, his fellow American athletes, from all sports disciplines, nominated and elected him the USA flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony.

In 1981, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

His son Gary Hall Jr., has become a famous Olympic swimmer as well, starting in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, winning gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. With his son's participation at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, the Halls became the first pair of father and son to make three Olympic appearances.

The Race Club

Hall currently lives in Florida and operates The Race Club Swim Camps together with his wife Mary, his sons Gary Jr and Richard and his daughter, Amy.

The Race Club provides facilities, coaching, training, technical instruction, video, fitness and health programs for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Race Club camps are designed and tailored to satisfy each swimmer’s needs, whether one is trying to reach the Olympic Games or simply improve one’s fitness. The programs are suitable for beginner swimmers, pleasure swimmers, fitness swimmers, open water swimmers, USA swimming or YMCA swimmers, or triathletes; anyone who wants to improve swimming skills.

Olympic Success

  • Silver 1968 Mexico City 400 m medley
  • Silver 1972 Munich 200 m butterfly
  • Bronze 1976 Montreal 100 m butterfly


Global Swimming Summit

Hall is a featured speaker at the 2016 Global Swimming Summit, a free online summit hosted by Chris Ritter of Ritter Sports Performance that explains and describes open water swimming for people of all ages and abilities. Speakers at the Global Swimming Summit include: Gerry Rodrigues, Lesley Paterson, Gary Hall Sr., Mike Collins, Brad Kearns, Alex Kostich, Glenn Mills, Karlyn Pipes, Tyler Fenwick, Kevin Rindal, Kristian Manietta, and Steph Saullo.

External links