2002 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
George Gibbons, who is being inducted posthumously, is one of the many Olneyville Boys Club swimmers who excelled at the local, regional and national levels in the late 30s and early 40’s. As a member of the Olneyville Boys Club, he helped lead the team to New England Swimming League titles and won numerous individual honors. He was New England AAU champion in the 220 yard freestyle, 300 yard individual medley, and 880 yard freestyle. In the process, he shattered the previous records in each event.
George graduated from Central High School and continued his swimming career at Brown University under the tutelage of Coach E. Leo Barry. Considered one of the most versatile swimmers of his time, George excelled in the 220, 440 yard freestyle, the 200 yard breaststroke, the 300 individual medley and he competed on all the relays.
As a freshman, George swam the lead off leg in the 400 yard freestyle relay that won the New England Intercollegiate Championship in a record time of 3:48.4. As a sophomore, he set a New England record in the 200 yard breaststroke and in the 300 yard individual medley. As a junior, he won the 440 yard freestyle and 300 yard individual medley, both in New England record times. George’s contributions helped Brown win the New England team championship in his sophomore and junior seasons. In 1940, he also set a Rhode Island record in the 220 yard breaststroke, and a New England AAU Senior record in the 220 yard breaststroke.
In dual meets at Brown, George Gibbons was dominant, never finishing below second place in any event. His success at National AAU meets ranks Gibbons among the best of his time. As a junior, he placed fifth in the 200 yard breaststroke at the National AAU meet and he finished third in the 300 individual medley during his senior year. George Gibbons was co-captain of the Brown team in 1941 . He was inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.