Alex Baumann

Alex Baumann

Category: Swimmer
Name: Alex Baumann
Club: Laurentian Swim Club
Coach(es): Dr. Jeno Tihanyi


1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles, United States,
Gold 200m IM (WR), Gold 400m IM (WR)

Canada's Alex Baumann celebrates a gold medal win in the men's swimming event at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. (CP PHOTO/ COA/) Alex Baumann du Canada célèbre après avoir remporté une médaille d'or en natation aux Jeux olympiques de Los Angeles de 1984. (Photo PC/AOC)

Baumann, 43, was born in Prague in the former Czechoslovakia and moved with his family to Canada in 1969. They settled in Sudbury, Ont., and that’s where Baumann first became involved in swimming at age nine training at Laurentian University.

By age 17, Baumann held 38 Canadian records and the world record in the 200-metre individual medley. He won double gold at the 1992 Commonwealth Games and posted another win at the 1983 World University Games.

But it was in Los Angeles in 1984, that Baumann became a household name in Canada. He persevered through lingering tendonitis and shoulder injuries and personal challenges, to win the 200 and 400 IM’s at the Olympics. They were Canada’s first gold medals in Olympic swimming since 1912.

He was named Canada’s athlete of the year in 1984 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

After retiring from competitive swimming in 1987, Baumann moved to Australia in the 1990s, and helped transform the country’s swim program into a powerhouse on the world scene.

In April 2006, he returned home from Australia to spearhead Canada’s push for Summer Olympic gold as executive director of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Road to Excellence program.