Perry McGillivray (USA)
Honor Swimmer (1981)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1912 silver (relay); 1920 gold (relay); 1924 (member U.S. Olympic Water Polo Team); NATIONAL AAU individual titles: 29 (13 relays); WORLD RECORD: 1; AMERICAN RECORDS: 1; Coach U.S. Water Polo Team; NATIONAL AAU WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS: 7; Invented “lob shot” and with Harry Hebner helped revolutionize water polo’s scoring appeal game.
Perry McGillivray was small but bigger than life as soon as he got into the water. A long as the Illinois Athletic Club dominated U.S. swimming he seemed to be around or maybe it was the other way around. As long as Perry was around the IAC was victorious. In fact, between 1908 and 1927, he won 36 U.S. National AAU titles. With Hall of Fame’s Harry Hebner, Perry invented the “lob shot” and “BC” deflection shot, as well as developing the aerial passing game that revolutionized and modernized water polo. He was on 7 National Championship Water Polo teams, played on the 1924 U.S. Olympic team and coached the U.S. team in 1928. In swimming he was a medalist always swimming just fast enough to win, with an eye on the finish line and not the stopwatch. His one World and nine American Records, one gold and one silver Olympic medals not-withstanding; Perry McGillivray was first, last and always a team swimmer in an individual sport.