Henri Padou (FRA)
Honor Water Polo (1970)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1924 gold (water polo); 1928 bronze (water polo); 1936 4th (water polo); INTERNATIONAL FRENCH TEAM: 21 times in swimming; 112 times in water polo.
In the history of Water Polo as the premier aquatic team sport, no individual has had greater impact than the celebrated Frenchman, Henri Padou.
A European swimming champion as well as the premier water polo player of his time, Henri Padou was the first to swim “all over the course”, playing his man and the game much like a modern full court press in basketball. Padou led France to the Olympic water polo title in 1924. Twenty-one times, Henri Padou made the international French team in swimming and 112 times in water polo. France does not have the early tradition of water polo greatness enjoyed by the English, paced by Hall of Famers Radmilovic and Wilkenson, nor the long later success of the Hungarians with Hall of Famers Nemeth, Halasy, Homonnay and Gyarmati; but in Henri Padou, the French had the finest all-round water polo player of his time and perhaps any time.
In the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Padou joins Radmilovic, Nemeth, Wally O’Connor, Teddy Cann, Harry Hebner, Johnny Weissmuller, Max Ritter, Jam Handy and Duke Kahanamoku among the all-time honorees who shared greatness in both swimming and water polo.