During his swimming career in the 1970s, San Rafael-born Rick DeMont established world records in the 1500-meter freestyle, the 400-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. He won the 400-meter freestyle in the 1972 Olympics, but his gold medal was taken away by what was originally thought to be traces of a banned substance but was later found to be allergy medicine. DeMont was banned from further Olympic competition and unable to defend his world record title in the 1500-meter freestyle. Nevertheless, DeMont’s swimming career was not defined by the medal. In 1973, he won the 400-meter event in the World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He was the first man to swim the 400-meter freestyle in less than four minutes and was voted Swimmer of the Year. After years of investigation, the International Olympic Committee acknowledged that it had erred in depriving him of this Gold Medal and reinstated him on the 1972 Olympic Team roster. His medal, however, was never returned.
Inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Plaque location: BASHOF