“Maybe it’s this drive to better oneself and one’s surroundings that makes a champion out of the less fortunate boy, instead of the one born with a silver spoon in his mouth. With but few exceptions it is always the underdog who wins through sheer willpower.“
“I have always been vitally interested in physical conditioning. I have long believed that athletic competition among people and nations should replace violence and wars.”
“(It was then) I received my most important lesson – in swimming, or in life. Coach Bachrach told me to swim for form and not for speed. Throughout my career I swam for form; speed came as a result of it.”
“Swimming gave me my start, but my pal Tarzan did the real work. He set me up nicely.”
“The best advice I can give is: don’t let go of the vine when you’re swinging through the jungle!”
Quotes about Johnny Weissmuller
“Weissmuller won far fewer gold medals than more recent swimming icons such as Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps. But this was due to the limited number of events available to him. Given the margin of superiority he had over his rivals, some experts still regard him as the greatest swimmer of all time.”
from the official International Olympic Committee website
“Today, Johnny Weissmuller is best remembered not as a swimming great who set 67 world records, who held every record from 50 yards to the half-mile, and who was never beaten, but as Tarzan. It is a fame that drowns out an appreciation of his skills – skills that made him one of the all-time great athletes.”
Bert Sugar, “The 100 Greatest Athletes of All Time”
“My Dad is a massive Tarzan fan. When he was a kid back in Sweden in the 50’s and 60’s he would every Saturday go to the matinée and watch Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen. Growing up, he would have these VHS cassettes that we would watch, so that was how I fell in love with Tarzan and that world…I will never compete with Johnny Weissmuller.”
Alexander Skarsgard (star of the Legend of Tarzan), 4/16/16 London press conference
“What most people don’t realize is that Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan inspired many conservation activists and scientists; he was like the first eco-warrior. I was hugely influenced by his movies. When I went to sign up for school, I said my name is Tarzan! There’s no question but that for most people worldwide, Weissmuller is THE Tarzan”.
Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International
“Whose voice gave Tarzan’s call? I ought to know, I was there. Johnny Weissmuller can – and did – do his own Tarzan call. End of discussion?!”
Maureen O’Sullivan (“Jane”), 1973 Time magazine interview
“Johnny Weissmuller was happy, buoyant, generous, playful, unassuming, he loved people and sports, and most of all he had a positive winning attitude ticking away in his inner self that made him a champion – and that clock never lost a beat no matter what was going on around him.”
Johnny Sheffield , who played “Boy” in seven Tarzan films with Weissmuller
“Our favorite diversion at the university was foreign movies, most of them captured by the Red Army from German forces and shown in the “culture club” on the main floor. Weissmuller’s Tarzan movies were the most popular. After one such epic show, the Stromynka hostel resounded to jungle whoops by the students…”
Mikhail Gorbachev, former USSR President
Sugar (Marilyn Monroe): …You know – like a husband? That’s why I’m glad we’re going to Florida…Maybe you’ll meet one too, Josephine.
Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis): Yeah. With money like Rockefeller, and shoulders like Johnny Weissmuller.
From “Some Like it Hot” (one of top ten films of all time, 1954)
“ In Austria we loved Johnny Weissmuller and his Tarzan movies. I remember when I was six years old, my father took me to see Weissmuller when he opened a swimming pool in our town.”