John Conner (USA)
2010 Honor Diver
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS (DIVER): 1990 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m); 1992 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3m), bronze (1m); 1996 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Gold (1m, 3m); 1998 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m); 2000 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m); 2002 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3m), bronze (1m); 2004 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m); 2004 WORLD MASTERS GAMES: gold (1m), bronze (3m); 2008 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m), silver (3m); 1989 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (1m, 3m); 44 U.S. MASTERS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (21-1m, 20-3m), silver (9-1m, 12-3m), bronze (4-1m, 3-3m).
This Duke University graduate earned All-American honors in both 1949 and 1950, placed in the top ten at NCAA's, was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame and has traveled to five continents. It is all due to his greatest love: Diving. Upon leaving Duke, John Conner joined the Air Force where he flew F-86's with a man named Michael Collins, who went on to join Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong as the third astronaut on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission.
After leaving the Air Force, John went on to become the Head Diving Coach at Harvard from 1956 through 1962. After Harvard beat Yale in 1962, for the first time in 23 years, he decided it was time to move on to something else. John went to work for New York Life, where he continues to work today.
John Conner began diving in 1939 when he was a nine year old attending a 4-H summer camp. Seventy plus years later he is still at it – now as a Masters Diver. John's first international competition was in 1988, at the second Masters World Championships in the 50-54 age group and he continues today diving in the 80-84 age group. Within the 11 world competitions in which John competed (one Pan Pacific, six FINA Masters World Championships and four World Masters Games), John has won eight gold and three bronze medals in 1 meter and eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 3 meter. He does not compete in the tower competition. At the U.S. Masters National Championships, he has won 21 1 meter championships and 20 3 meter championships; nine silver and four bronze medals on the 1 meter along with 12 silver and three bronze medals, for a total of 41 U.S. Masters National Championships. Since 1990, he has competed at every FINA Masters World Championships except one in 1994.
John just recently returned from the 2010 FINA Masters World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden where he added to his totals. He placed first on the 1 meter, first on the 3 meter and a respectable third place in the 50+ age group in the 3 meter synchronized diving event with his partner, David Cotton.
One just needs to spend a few minutes with John and his enthusiasm and love for the sport of diving is extremely evident.