Kevin O’Halloran was an Australian freestyle swimmer of the 1950s. He won a gold medal in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He was the first Western Australian to win Olympic gold. In 1976, he died after tripping and accidentally shooting himself.
About Kevin O’Halloran in brief
Kevin O’Halloran was an Australian freestyle swimmer of the 1950s. He won a gold medal in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He was the first Western Australian to win Olympic gold. In 1976, he died after tripping and accidentally shooting himself. He learnt to swim in his hometown of Katanning. He moved to Perth to attend secondary schooling at Guildford Grammar School, where he became more committed to swimming. His career was beset by ear problems, and he retired in 1958 after failing to qualify for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He also competed for his school in Australian rules football and rowing. His parents and headmaster decided that schooling was more important than swimming, much to the chagrin of future Olympians Jon Henricks and John Devitt. He made his national debut at the 1955 Australian Championships in Adelaide; he finished fifth in the 110 yd freestyle behind future Olympian Jon Henrick and future Olympic medallist John Henricks. In 1954 he was selected by the Australian team to compete in the Australian Championships.
In 1955 he was the state champion in the freestyle, and added the 440 yd medley title to the successful defence of his freestyle crown. In 1956, he won the 4×200 metre relay and placed sixth in the 400-metres freestyle at the Melbourne Olympics. He died in 1976, aged 48, after a tragic accident in his Perth suburb of Kojonup, 40 km to the west of his Katanned home. He is survived by his two brothers and a sister, and his mother, who died in a car crash in 1998. He leaves behind a wife and two children. He had a son and a daughter, both of whom are now in their thirties, and a step-son, who is in his early forties, and two step-sons, who are in their early twenties. He has three grandchildren, who were born in Perth and Adelaide, and one step-grandchild, who was born in Adelaide, Adelaide and Melbourne, and has a daughter and son-in-law who are both in their fifties. He never had any children of his own, but he had several step-children. He lived on a 9,000-acre sheep farm established by his grandfather in 1900.