Uploaded on July 2, 2010 by jeff
Adolph Kiefer, 90, won the 100 backstroke at the 1936 Olympic Games, and in this interview with International Swimming Hall of Fame CEO Bruce Wigo, Kiefer gives his impressions of Michael Phelps, both in and out of the pool. Kiefer met Phelps at a meeting with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, where Phelps agreed to help with a learn-to-swim program in Chicago.
Kiefer, a resident of Chicago, talks about the reasons why the International Olympic Committee should pick Chicago as the host city for 2016. Kiefer is an inductee in ISHOF, and was the world record holder in the 100 backstroke for more than a decade. A consummate historian and swimming fan, Kiefer talked at length about the future of American backstroke, with Phelps, Aaron Piersol and Ryan Lochte. He said "I'm glad I'm not swimming now."
But Kiefer's work ethic is admirable even today. He said he swam seven days a week, at a Jewish Community Center pool on Sundays until they kicked him out. The quality of each workout, he said, were focused on quality.
Kiefer still swims today, "felling much better when I come out of the pool than when I get in." In addition to swimming, Kiefer still works with his wife of 76 years for the company he founded in 1946, which provides training and safety equipment. Kiefer still preaches the news about the importance of learning to swim, and that the effects go well beyond the pool.
The Kiefer family is a longstanding supporter of scuba diving. Kiefer talks about how his company got involved with Jacques Cousteau to bring scuba equipment to stores in the United States and how he helped evolve scuba diving to become the way it is today.