Tom Arusoo

Last updated
Tom Arusoo
Personal information
Full nameToomas Arusoo
National teamCanada
Born (1948-07-22) July 22, 1948 (age 73)
Stockholm, Sweden
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight73 kg (161 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Butterfly
College team University of Michigan
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing Canada
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1970 Edinburgh 200 m butterfly
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1970 Edinburgh 100 m butterfly

Toomas "Tom" Arusoo (born July 22, 1948) was a Canadian competition swimmer who swam for Canada in several international meets including the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.


Early life

Tom Arusoo's parents were both competitive athletes in Estonia; his father was a national champion swimmer in long-distance freestyle, and his mother was the second-ranked tennis player in the country. [1] They emigrated to Sweden in 1944 as refugees, where their son Toomas was born. They then emigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal. [1]

Swimming career

As a child, Arusoo started competitively swimming for the Montreal Athletic Association, specializing in the butterfly stroke. [1] While in high school, he dated the granddaughter of American swimming coach Matt Mann. After watching Arusoo swim, Mann recommended him to the University of Michigan swimming coach. [1] The university offered Arusoo a scholarship and he swam for the Michigan Wolverines swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Big Ten Conference competition.

Arusoo first swam for Canada at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, and then at the 1967 Pan American Games.

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Arusoo was a member of Canada's seventh-place 4x100-metre medley relay team, swimming the butterfly leg. He also competed in the preliminary heats of the 100 and 200-metre butterfly events, but failed to advance. [2]

At his final international meet, the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Arusoo won the gold medal in the 200-metre butterfly (2:08.97). [3] :314 In the 100-metre butterfly, he was part of the first-ever Canadian sweep of the podium at an international games, winning silver in 58.98 seconds and joined by gold medallist Byron MacDonald and bronze medallist Ron Jacks. [3] :313

After swimming

In 1973, Arusoo married fellow Canadian Olympian swimmer Angela Coughlan. They had three daughters before the couple divorced ten years later. [4]

Arusoo became a swimming coach at the Pointe Claire Aquatic Centre under International Swimming Hall of Fame coach George Gate, who had been the coach of the 1968 Olympic team. [5]

Arusoo also coached the Liquid Lightning Swim Club in Lake Orion, Michigan, and the Great Lakes Aquatics Akitas (North) swim team located in Holly, Michigan.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Leatherman, Cindy (1969-02-06). "Mann's destiny points Arusoo to 'M'". Michigan Daily. University of Michigan. p. 9. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  2. Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Tom Arusoo". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  3. 1 2 Groom, Graham (2017). The Complete Book of the Commonwealth Games. ISBN   9780244940317.
  4. "Angela Coughlan". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  5. Kelso, Jack (May 1998). "Coaching Pioneer George Gate Steps Down". Swim News. Retrieved 2021-10-30.