Let’s have the 1996 Swimming Commemorative Half Dollar Coin from the series released for the Atlanta Centennial Games tell today’s story.
In the 1996 Centennial Games, Gary Hall, Jr. won four medals, two gold and two silver in swimming. However, that was just the first summer Olympics in which he participated.
He followed in his father’s footsteps to participate in three separate Olympics.
His father, Gary Hall, Sr., participated in the 1968 Mexico City games winning a silver in the 400 m medley.
In 1972, two years before Gary, Jr. was born, he won silver again at the 1972 Munich games in the 200 m butterfly competition.
In his last Olympics, the 1976 Montreal games, Gary Hall, Sr. won bronze in the 100 m butterfly.
In competitions between Olympics, on August 22, 1970, swimming great Mark Spitz set a new record for the 200 m butterfly long course with a time of 2:05.4.
On that same day, Spitz lost the world record to Gary Hall, Sr. with a time of 2:05.0. Hall, Sr. held that record for just over a year when Spitz achieved a new record time of 2:03.9 in late August 1971.
After the 1996 games, Gary Hall, Jr. went to his second Olympics, the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, to win another four medals – two gold, a silver and a bronze.
In 2004, Hall, Jr. won two more medals in the Athens Olympic Games, a gold and a bronze.
Gary Hall, Jr. began his international competitive wins at the World Championships in Rome in 1994 and won his last medal, a silver, at the 2007 Pan American games in Rio de Janeiro.
Whereas his father favored the butterfly, Gary, Jr. won his medals in the freestyle or medley events.
In his background, Gary, Jr. had other family members that also competitively swam.
His uncle on his mother’s side, competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the breaststroke event, however he finished fifth with a Brit taking gold and fellow Americans winning silver and bronze. He did not compete in the same event that his brother-in-law won his bronze.
Even earlier, in the 1940s, his grandfather, on his mother’s side, won several collegiate swimming competitions, though he never participated in any Olympic games.
Swimming, their family affair lasted more than half a century.
Remembering the competitions with the 1996 Swimming Commemorative Half Dollar Coin: