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My Olympic Story


Jeff Farrell was the fastest swimmer in the world in 1960, a heavy favorite to win gold in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rome. Six days before the US Olympic Trials, the unthinkable happened. Jeff collapsed, was rushed to the hospital and underwent an emergency appendectomy.

This book is far more than a story of athleticism or athletes, though.  It transcends even the Olympic Games to capture a moving tale of a man faced with a dramatic choice in life, one that involved a decision of putting ‘right above reward’.

The surgeon said he would be unable to swim for six weeks, but Jeff and his coach, Bob Kiphuth, had other ideas. What happened next – even beyond the incredible athletic feat Farrell faced – is part of Olympic lore, a warm and unforgettable story of courage and sportsmanship.

Jeff Farrell


Felix Jeffrey Farrell is a former world-record holder in the men’s 100-meter swimming freestyle, and competed in the 1960 Olympic Games.  He is a multiple US Masters swimming world record holder, and has held the fastest national times in his age group in dozens of events over past decades.  He was inducted in to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968, and the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2011.  He is the only swimmer to be inducted in both halls.  He is currently a Realtor in Santa Barbara, Ca., and he still swims really fast.

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