Blogs > New Haven 200 at 200

The New Haven Register sports department is celebrating our 200th birthday by sharing 200 of the most interesting stories relating to sports in Greater New Haven over the past 200 years. Check back daily for historical updates.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

East Haven's Frank Dooley swam to gold at Helsinki in 1952

Frank Dooley Jr. grew up near the water in East Haven’s Momauguin section. His father, a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair, taught him to swim. As a way to push his son with more competition, he gave lessons to other children in the area so they could hold informal races.

As Dooley continued to excel as a swimmer, he got more help from the local citizens. Frank Keefe, an East Haven resident whose son would later coach Yale for 32 years, helped organize the first swim team at East Haven High so Dooley could compete against the best in the state. Dooley was the top-rated high school swimmer in the country in the 220-yard freestyle and a high school All-American as a senior in 1947.

Dooley would go on to be a three-time All-American at Ohio State, swimming in the offseason with the New Haven Swim Club. It was with the New Haven club that he set world records in the 400-meter freestyle and the 4x200-meter relay.

But his greatest achievement would come at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, where Dooley won a gold medal as part of the U.S. 4x200-meter relay team. Yale’s Don Sheff, who swam with Dooley on the New Haven Swim Club, also swam a leg for the winning U.S. team.

Read Chip Malafronte's complete story.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home