John Caldwell ‘Jack’ Wardrop was a record-breaking freestyle swimmer who won two Commonwealth medals for Scotland and competed at three Olympic Games.

Born in 1932, he first learned to swim in his local Motherwell Baths and wasted little time making his presence felt in the competitive arena, setting a number of Scottish records by his early teens.

He made his Olympic debut in the 1948 Games in London at the tender age of 16, swimming in the 1,500m. He returned home to win four titles at the Scottish Championships in 1949 and claimed three British titles the following year – making him the first male swimmer ever to win three titles at one meeting.

By the end of 1952, he held a total of 32 records and five British titles, and also took to the pool in the 100m, 400m and 4x200m in the Olympic Games in Helsinki.

Two years later, he came within a whisker of gold at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, coming second in the 400m freestyle event. He also won bronze in the 3x100m relay with team-mates John Service and his twin brother and fellow Olympian, Bert Wardrop.

Jack attended the University of Michigan, where he swam in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Big Ten Conference competition from 1953 to 1955. He twice won the 200m NCAA national championship, setting a new world record of 2:02.4.

His final Olympic appearances came at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, where he competed in the 400m and 4x200m events.

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