Dr. Chester A. Jastremski: Olympic medal-winning swimmer innovated sport


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Dr. Chester A. Jastremski, a star swimmer and Toledo native who was an innovator in the sport and a world-record holder, NCAA champion, and 1964 Olympic medalist, died Saturday in the Indiana University Health Hospice House. He was 73.

He had cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, said his obituary on the Day Mortuary Web site.

Known as “Chet,” the 1959 graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School was a YMCA youth swim champion, and at age 15 he narrowly missed a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the 200-meter breaststroke. His whip-style kick was considered revolutionary.

In 1962 he appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover with the headline, “World’s Best Swimmer,” after setting 12 world records.

He won the bronze in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He finished medical school at Indiana and earned a spot as an alternate on the 1968 U.S. Olympic team. He was a U.S. team doctor for the ’76 Montreal Games.

He was survived by his wife, Connie; sons Kelly and Ted Jastremski; daughter, Andrea Bogdan; stepson, Rob Fritz; stepdaughters, Kim Gillund and Tiffany Clayton, and brother, Duane Jastremski.

Services were Thursday in the Day Mortuary, Bloomington. The family suggests tributes to IU Health Hospice House, Bloomington.