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1952 Diving - Sammy Lee, Joaquin Capilla and Pat McCormick
1952 Diving - Sammy Lee, Joaquin Capilla and Pat McCormick
Published: 2014/01/19
Channel: FLiPnRiP
Dr. Sammy Lee
Dr. Sammy Lee
Published: 2006/08/24
Channel: LelandStanford2005
Olympic Medalist Dr. Sammy Lee
Olympic Medalist Dr. Sammy Lee '43 Revisits Oxy
Published: 2012/01/30
Channel: OccidentalCollege
Sammy Lee Diving Exhibition: The First Asian-American to Win Olympic Gold
Sammy Lee Diving Exhibition: The First Asian-American to Win Olympic Gold
Published: 2017/03/23
Channel: 20th Century Time Machine
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Sammy Lee dies at 96
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Sammy Lee dies at 96
Published: 2016/12/05
Channel: USA TODAY
Dr. Sammy Lee Memorial 2017
Dr. Sammy Lee Memorial 2017
Published: 2017/01/17
Channel: McCormick Divers
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Sammy Lee Dies at 96
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Sammy Lee Dies at 96
Published: 2016/12/04
Channel: Wochit News
Helsinki 1952 Men
Helsinki 1952 Men's Platform Sammy Lee
Published: 2016/12/01
Channel: TF Filmarchiv
OBM - Diver - Sammy Lee
OBM - Diver - Sammy Lee
Published: 2016/10/08
Channel: Our Best Moments
1964 Sammy Lee 105 - with a layout in the middle
1964 Sammy Lee 105 - with a layout in the middle
Published: 2014/03/05
Channel: FLiPnRiP
Dr. Sammy Lee Memorial 2017
Dr. Sammy Lee Memorial 2017
Published: 2017/01/17
Channel: McCormick Divers
Doctor Sammy Lee School Ribbon Cutting
Doctor Sammy Lee School Ribbon Cutting
Published: 2013/11/22
Channel: AssemblyAccess
Dr. Sammy Lee
Dr. Sammy Lee
Published: 2011/04/01
Channel: bifmtube
Dr.Sammy Lee School!!!!
Dr.Sammy Lee School!!!!
Published: 2017/08/16
Channel: Sara Marquez
A Tribute to Sammy Lee with Tom Hairabedian
A Tribute to Sammy Lee with Tom Hairabedian
Published: 2016/12/05
Channel: The Diving Network
Sammy Lee 1948-1952
Sammy Lee 1948-1952
Published: 2016/05/09
Channel: Omar Solis
Walk of Stars - Dr. Sammy Lee
Walk of Stars - Dr. Sammy Lee
Published: 2009/06/30
Channel: CityofAnaheim
Current USC Diving Coach Remembers Sammy Lee For Being Humble, Giving
Current USC Diving Coach Remembers Sammy Lee For Being Humble, Giving
Published: 2016/12/04
Channel: CBS Los Angeles
Sammy Lee
Sammy Lee
Published: 2014/01/17
Channel: docpasadena
You Bet Your Life #55-30 Sammy Lee, Olympic diving champion (
You Bet Your Life #55-30 Sammy Lee, Olympic diving champion ('Hand', Apr 19, 1956)
Published: 2013/11/14
Channel: Groucho Marx - You Bet Your Life
R.I.P Dr. Sammy Lee💔
R.I.P Dr. Sammy Lee💔
Published: 2016/12/04
Channel: Alice551578
Remembering Grant Tinker, Sammy Lee, Andrew Sachs, Milt Moss, Jim Delligatti and the Big Mac
Remembering Grant Tinker, Sammy Lee, Andrew Sachs, Milt Moss, Jim Delligatti and the Big Mac
Published: 2016/12/28
Channel: Rememberingthepassed
080510 sammy lee square
080510 sammy lee square
Published: 2010/08/06
Channel: la18primenews
Highlights from Dr. Sammy Lee
Highlights from Dr. Sammy Lee's Speech at APAMSA 2009 Banquet
Published: 2010/01/11
Channel: FilAmIAm
Sammy Lee documentary
Sammy Lee documentary
Published: 2014/04/07
Channel: Amanda Li
Sammy Lee Celebration of Life slideshow
Sammy Lee Celebration of Life slideshow
Published: 2017/01/15
Channel: Pamela Lee
1948 OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS
1948 OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS
Published: 2013/01/29
Channel: Historic Films Stock Footage Archive
Van Halen - Diver Down [Full Album] (Remastered)
Van Halen - Diver Down [Full Album] (Remastered)
Published: 2015/03/01
Channel: TheManFromCabo2
1952 OLYMPIC GAMES
1952 OLYMPIC GAMES
Published: 2013/01/29
Channel: Historic Films Stock Footage Archive
1948 gold medalist Sammy Lee on London 2012.wmv
1948 gold medalist Sammy Lee on London 2012.wmv
Published: 2012/04/19
Channel: USADiving
Selected scenes of past and present sport personalities - Part 1
Selected scenes of past and present sport personalities - Part 1
Published: 2010/04/24
Channel: PublicResourceOrg
Exclusive interview with Greg  Louganis Olympic diver, LGBT activist, and author 2016
Exclusive interview with Greg Louganis Olympic diver, LGBT activist, and author 2016
Published: 2016/12/02
Channel: WorldLibertytv1
Sammy Lee, the Olympic Champion 다큐멘터리
Sammy Lee, the Olympic Champion 다큐멘터리
Published: 2009/07/21
Channel: News Magazine Chicago
1948 American Olympic Swim Team Display 221103-01 | Footage Farm
1948 American Olympic Swim Team Display 221103-01 | Footage Farm
Published: 2012/12/16
Channel: footagefarm
Gregory Louganis——The Diving Prince in Seoul,Korea 1988
Gregory Louganis——The Diving Prince in Seoul,Korea 1988
Published: 2011/03/26
Channel: Hiromi Yamazaki
Sammy Lee Intro & the House
Sammy Lee Intro & the House
Published: 2015/08/01
Channel: Thomas Rutishauser - Topic
Sammy Lee
Sammy Lee 's Son First Show
Published: 2007/07/06
Channel: Andy Chung
Sammy Lee Interview on Rafa
Sammy Lee Interview on Rafa
Published: 2009/04/20
Channel: JMan Patel
KNBC Talks to RBAC Junior Divers Who Met U.S. Olympic Dive Team
KNBC Talks to RBAC Junior Divers Who Met U.S. Olympic Dive Team
Published: 2008/08/11
Channel: rosebowlaquaticsorg
Lee diving vs. Milan
Lee diving vs. Milan
Published: 2007/06/30
Channel: Barry Marshall
Olympics - 1952 Helsinki & 1956 Melbourne - Womens Diving - USA Pat McCormick   imasportsphile
Olympics - 1952 Helsinki & 1956 Melbourne - Womens Diving - USA Pat McCormick imasportsphile
Published: 2016/02/18
Channel: Ima Sportsphile
The Rise of Chinese Diving on The Morning Swim Show
The Rise of Chinese Diving on The Morning Swim Show
Published: 2012/10/17
Channel: swimmingworldtv
What Ethnicity Is Greg Louganis?
What Ethnicity Is Greg Louganis?
Published: 2017/10/10
Channel: Pan Pan 1
sammy Lee Davis interview.avi
sammy Lee Davis interview.avi
Published: 2010/02/18
Channel: Heritage Hill State Historical Park
GROUCHO MARX -  You Bet Your Life S6E30 (1956)
GROUCHO MARX - You Bet Your Life S6E30 (1956)
Published: 2017/08/21
Channel: Retro TV
Sammy Lee- Highwayman
Sammy Lee- Highwayman
Published: 2012/05/09
Channel: Sammy Lee
GRACEFUL AQUATICS
GRACEFUL AQUATICS
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: British Movietone
Sammy Lee - What Goes Arround
Sammy Lee - What Goes Arround
Published: 2013/10/05
Channel: RareMusicDirect
Sammy Dives U-861
Sammy Dives U-861
Published: 2015/08/10
Channel: 2techuk
Funny Dives Olympic Qualifiers (History
Funny Dives Olympic Qualifiers (History's Playlist)
Published: 2012/03/13
Channel: HistorysPlaylist
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Sammy Lee
Sammy Lee 1952.jpg
Lee at the 1952 Olympics
Personal information
Nationality American
Ethnicity Korean
Born (1920-08-01)August 1, 1920
Fresno, California, U.S.[1]
Died December 2, 2016(2016-12-02) (aged 96)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Southern California School of Medicine
Occidental College
Spouse(s) Rosalind Wong
Sport
Country United States
Sport Diving

Samuel Lee (August 1, 1920 – December 2, 2016) was an American physician and diver of Korean descent. He was the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States[2] and the first man to win back-to-back gold medals in Olympic platform diving.

Early life and education[edit]

Lee was born in Fresno, California to parents of Korean descent who owned what he described as "a little chop suey restaurant".[3] His father, who was fluent in English and Korean and who tutored in French, graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Occidental College, but was unable to find work due to his Asian ancestry. He was then forced to open a chop suey restaurant and market. As a twelve-year-old living near Los Angeles in 1932, Lee saw and was motivated by the many Olympics banners and souvenirs on display for the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles that year. Later that summer, he found that he could do somersaults much better than all of his friends, which led to his goal of becoming an Olympic champion in diving.[4]

Lee's parents moved to Highland Park, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. At the time, however, Latinos, Asians and African-Americans were only allowed to use the nearby Brookside Park Plunge in Pasadena on Wednesdays, on what was called "international day": the day before the pool was scheduled to be drained and refilled with clean water. Because Lee needed a place to practice and could not regularly use the public pool, his coach dug a pit in his backyard and filled it with sand.[5][6][7] Lee practiced by jumping into the pit.[8]

Lee attended Franklin High School and later was a student-athlete at Occidental, where he received his undergraduate degree before attending the University of Southern California School of Medicine, where he received his M.D. in 1947.[9]

Career[edit]

Diving[edit]

Lee with Miller Anderson in 1948

Under the tutelage of renowned diving coach Jim Ryan, Lee won the United States National Diving Championships in 1942 in both the 3-meter springboard and the 10-meter platform events, becoming the first person of color to capture the United States national championship in diving. In 1946, he again triumphed at the 10-meter platform event while finishing third at the 3-meter springboard competition at the national diving competition in San Diego.[4] At the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, Lee earned a bronze medal in the 3-meter springboard and a gold medal in 10-meter platform diving events. Four years later, he won the gold medal in the 10-meter platform competition at the Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.[1][4]

Later life[edit]

Lee served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in South Korea from 1953 to 1955, where he specialized in diseases of the ear.[1] In 1953, while serving his tour of duty in Korea, he won the James E. Sullivan Award in 1953, which is awarded annually by the Amateur Athletic Union to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.[9]

He continued to experience discrimination in later life. In 1954, he faced housing discrimination in Garden Grove, California, where he attempted to buy a home only to be told that he could not, and in one case having nearby residents gather petition signatures to "disallow" or discourage him from buying in "their" neighborhood. (In the latter case, a counterpetition sought to rectify this prejudice, but the discriminatory effect had been achieved, and Lee looked elsewhere.)[10][11]

Following Lee's diving career, he helped coach two-time diving gold medalist Bob Webster. Later, he coached Greg Louganis, who lived with Lee's family before winning a silver medal in platform diving at the 1976 Olympics at the age of 16.[12] Lee also coached Olympic medalist Pat McCormick,[13] was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968, and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990.[9][14] Sammy Lee Square, at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles' Koreatown, was named after him in 2010.[13][15][16][17] He was also honored with a spot on the Anaheim/Orange County Walk of Stars in 2009.[18] The Los Angeles Unified School District honored Lee by renaming Central Region Elementary School #20 as the Dr. Sammy Lee Medical and Health Sciences Magnet School in 2013.[19][20]

In 1979, Lee played himself in Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story, about a deaf stuntwoman that Lee coached in diving.[21]

Lee was married to Rosalind Wong;[9] the couple had a daughter and a son.[22] Lee died from complications of pneumonia on December 2, 2016 at his home in Newport Beach, California, aged 96.[23] He also suffered from dementia and heart disease.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sammy Lee". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 
  2. ^ Almasy, Steve (August 22, 2008). "After 60 years, Olympians are fast friends again". CNN. 
  3. ^ Williams, Juan & Halberstam, David (2004). My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience. Sterling. ISBN 9781402722332. OCLC 61848837. 
  4. ^ a b c Aquitania, Ray E. M.D. (2011). Jock-Docs: World-Class Athletes Wearing White Coats. ISBN 9781609106126. OCLC 743113688. 
  5. ^ Baker, Chris (June 16, 1990). "Physical, Spiritual Blights Are Eliminated : Swimming: Pasadena's new aquatic complex replaces an eyesore, lays to rest memories of racism for former Olympian". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Zarnow, Teryl (October 20, 2011). "Oral history? Telling it like it was". Orange County Register. 
  7. ^ Ortiz, Erik (November 18, 2006). "Diver shows how guts outweigh skin: The sport's first Asian-American to win Olympic gold tells pupils about bias and athletics". Orange County Register. 
  8. ^ Margolis, Jane (2008). Stuck In the Shallow End: Education, Race and Computing. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. ISBN 9780262260961. OCLC 792730600. 
  9. ^ a b c d McFadden, Robert (December 3, 2016). "Sammy Lee, First Asian-American to Earn Olympic Gold, Dies at 96". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Fair Housing In the Cold War Era". California State University, Fullerton. April 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Special Educational Panel Discussion Covering Fair Housing in Orange County During Cold War Era" (PDF). Fullerton Arboretum. May 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (December 3, 2016). "Asian American to win Olympic medal, dies at 96". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  13. ^ a b Crowe, Jerry (May 30, 2011). "Lee never let racism block his march to diving glory". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ "Sammy Lee One of Seven Inducted Into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame : Diving: Huntington Beach doctor, who won gold medals in 1948 and '52, makes a splash during induction ceremony". Los Angeles Times. July 7, 1990. 
  15. ^ "LA Square Named After Korean-American Diver". KBS World. August 6, 2010. 
  16. ^ Sung-woo, Chun (August 9, 2010). "Sammy Lee Square dedicated in L.A. to honor diving legend". Korea Herald. 
  17. ^ "City Council 10-1231" (PDF). Los Angeles City Council. July 22, 2010. 
  18. ^ Tully, Sarah (May 26, 2009). "Sammy Lee gets a star and, he jokes, a headstone". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "LAUSD starts new school year with promise, excitement". Los Angeles Daily News. August 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ Plummer, Mary (May 15, 2013). "New name for South LA school 'Diego Rivera Learning Complex' flies under the radar". KPCC. 
  21. ^ Wampler, Molly Frick (1987). Not Without Honor: The Story of Sammy Lee. Fithian Press. p. 213. ISBN 9780936784373. 
  22. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. & Fenno, Nathan (December 3, 2016). "Sammy Lee, diver who became first Asian American to win Olympic medal, dies at 96". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  23. ^ Sklar, Debbie (December 3, 2016). "First Asian American Olympic gold medalist dies in Newport Beach". MyNewsLA.com. 
  24. ^ "Diving Legend Sammy Lee Passes Away At Age 96". Swimming World. December 3, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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