One of Scotland’s most well-known swimming stars David Wilkie saw the height of his career include medals at European, World and Olympic level.
The original Scottish breaststroker had an unbeaten streak of winning races between 1972 and 1976 which culminated in Olympic glory in Montreal.
Wilkie was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka where his Aberdeen parents were stationed and he learned to swim at the local swimming club.
But at the age of 11, he was sent back to Scotland where he was a pupil at Daniel Stewart’s College and joined one of Scotland’s most successful swimming club – Warrender Baths Club.
Under the guidance and inspiration of Frank Thomas, Wilkie honed his breaststroke talent and soon became a regular on the international scene.
Known for his long locks and moustache, Wilkie’s purple patch began at the 1972 Olympics in Munich where he won silver in the 200m breaststroke in a European record despite being ranked 25th going into the competition.
After a move to the United States, where the Scot was studying at the University of Miami, his next success was at the 1973 World Championships in Belgrade when he produced gold in the same event in a world record time.
The Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 1974 saw Wilkie claim the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley double – including a medley world record at the Europeans.
But his greatest success came at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal where Wilkie set a stunning world record time – which lasted for six years – and prevented the US from collecting a clean sweep of the men’s swimming gold medals.
Wilkie was honoured by the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association when he won the Nancy Riach Memorial Medal Award, given to the person who’s done the most to enhance or uphold the prestige of Scottish Swimming during the year, for the first time in 1970 and won it every year between 1972 and 1976.
Other accolades cemented Wilkie as a legend of Scottish swimming winning British Sports Personality of the Year in 1975, being named European Swimmer of the Year three times and in 2002, he was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.
Wilkie has been noted as the first swimmer to wear both goggles and a swimming hat together in competition and since his retirement he has remained active in the development of swimming aids and technology.
Muted as the greatest Scottish and arguably one of the finest British swimmers of all time, Wilkie will forever have his name etched in the history books.