View Full Version : Jeff Farrell's amazing story

Rich Abrahams
June 20th, 2012, 01:57 PM
Fellow masters swimmer Jeff Farrell recounts his amazing experience dealing with an apendectomy operation six days before the 1960 Olympic Trials at swimmingworldmagazine.com.


June 20th, 2012, 06:11 PM
That is an amazing story. How heart-wrenching to be so close to your dream and have it ripped from you through no fault of your own.

June 20th, 2012, 06:29 PM
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeff through Masters Swimming and competing with him on several occasions. What a story and what a great guy and great competitor!

Although he did not compete in the 100 at Rome, he did compete in the 400 medley relay and 800 free relay and earned gold in both!:banana:

He currently holds the 70 - 74 SCY records in the 50 and 100 free at 24.13 and 56.05 as well as the LCM records in the same events: 28.53 and 1:05.4

Frank Thompson
June 20th, 2012, 07:27 PM
Jeff Farrell will always be an icon in Swimming for the decision he made 52 years ago. USA Swimming should be proud of the good precedent he set when he refused a special exemption to be on the Olympic team. Because of this, a tradition has been set and we will never see a bad precedent that has been set by the USA Figure Skating governing body on how they selected the Olympians and did not choose to follow the Olympic Trial results.

I read the book "Six Days to Swim" when it was released and knew some of the people in the book being from the Detroit area. When I joined USMS in 1982, George Van was a local sportswriter and a masters swimmer and he did all of the stories on Jeff in the local press that were in the book. He passed away in 1984. The book was written by Jan Henning and her husband was the President of FINA back in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

From what I understand, Jeff will be releasing another book that updates the old one and has all of his accomplishments since that book was published. I was at Jeff's induction into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2011 at the Convention last year in Jacksonville and he was inducted with Rich Abrahams and that was a special evening for both swimmers and very well deserved.

From my knowledge, Jeff is the only swimmer in the history of the Hall of Fame to be inducted as a Swimmer and as a Masters Swimmer. There have been others that have been inducted in both Hall of Fames, but they were inducted in both as Masters Swimmers and not Swimmers from there days competing Internationally. I sure there will be others in the future but he is the first one.

June 20th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Jeff F was my hero growing up - a real live inspiration for a swimmer at that time. As an AGer I followed his career. Then and even now, whenever things have seemed tough, i think of him and his 1960 trials and olympics. With the web, i could read that he was still swimming very well; great to know and still an inspiration.

June 20th, 2012, 11:04 PM
I met Jeff first time at a meet in Niagara Falls NY a few years before the 1960 Olympic trials. He was a really good guy.

June 21st, 2012, 12:54 AM
I have the pleasure of living near Jeff, and I get to see him at local meets. He is always a great guy to deal with, unswervingly humble despite his many accolades.

What I really love is that he is still the consummate competitor, always looking to improve. When I watch his races, he eats up any feedback I can give him afterwards. And he's kind enough to provide me with his insight on my races as well.

His pic in the ESPN body issue is inspiring!