Adolph Kiefer, the 1936 Olympic swimming champion who died at age 98 on Friday, recalled the Berlin Games in one of his last interviews for the 2016 NBC Sports documentary “More than Gold.”
Kiefer was 17 at the 1936 Olympics and won 100m backstroke gold.
He also met Adolf Hitler at the athletes’ village.
“We said hello, we did shake hands, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have thrown him in the pool and personally see that he didn’t get out,” Kiefer said.
Kiefer later joined the U.S. Navy as officer in charge of swimming and saved the lives of thousands of shipwrecked sailors. He taught 1,200 instructors “the victory backstroke” that was used during World War II.
“You might say I’m nothing but one great, big drink of water,” Kiefer joked. “If I would cut my foot, water would come out instead of blood.”
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