The Blitz Family

Swimmers, Water Poloists, Resistance Fighters, Yogis, Club Med

Category Data
Full Name Gérard Blitz Jr.
Used Name Gérard Blitz
Born 1 August 1901; Amsterdam (NED)
Died 8 March 1979; Ganshoren (BEL)
Year Sport Event Finish Medal
1920 Swimming 100 m free 7 h4 r1/4
4×200 m free relay 3 h2 r1/2
100 m back 3 Bronze
Water Polo 2 Silver
1924 Swimming 100 m backstroke 4
Water Polo 2 Silver
1928 Swimming 4×200 m free relay 5 h2 r1/2
100 m backstroke 2 h3 r1/3
Water Polo =5
1936 Water Polo 3 Bronze
Category Data
Full Name Maurice Jean Blitz
Used Name Maurice Blitz
Born 28 July 1891; Paris (FRA)
Died 2 February 1975
Year Sport Finish Medal
1920 Water Polo 2 Silver
1924 Water Polo 2 Silver

Gérard Blitz competed at four Olympics Games as a swimmer and water polo player, appearing four times in water polo and three times in swimming. Blitz won four Olympic medals, three in water polo in 1920, 1924, and 1936, and adding a bronze in the 1920 100 metre backstroke swimming. In 1921 Blitz set a world record of 5:59.2 for the 400 metre backstroke, a mark which lasted until 1927. A Jewish athlete, he was one of the few Jews to win a medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Gérard Blitz was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1990.

Blitz’s older brother, Maurice Blitz, competed alongside Gérard in water polo at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics, winning silver medals both times. Maurice later became an international referee, conducting the Olympic final in 1932, and was a member of the Belgian Olympic Committee and swimming federation. In 1948, Maurice Blitz founded the swimming and waterpolo club Zwemclub Scaldis in Antwerp.

Maurice Blitz’s son, also Gérard Blitz, never competed at the Olympics, but became known during World War II as a resistance fighter with the French Resistance. After the war, Gérard Blitz became famous when he founded a vacation resort named Club Méditerranée, opening the first resort on Majorca, which later became franchised with the name shortened to Club Med. Gérard Blitz, the younger, also studied yoga, and became secretary and then president of the European Union of Yoga from 1974 until his death in 1990.