STAMFORD, Conn. -- Happy Birthday To Stamford’s Semyon Viktorovich Belits-Geiman!
Semyon Viktorovich Belits-Geiman, who has owned a home in Stamford, turns 69 on Sunday. The swimmer was born February 16, 1945, in Moscow.
Belits-Geiman began swimming at the age of eight. Later he was affiliated with the Moscow club Dynamo and became a member of the Soviet swimming team in 1962.
At the 1965 Summer Universiade, he won the gold medal in the 400 m freestyle and three silver medals in the 1,500 m and relay races. In 1965, his time in the 1,500 m was the second-fastest in the world (17:01.90).
In 1966, he won the gold medal in a special US-USSR competition in Moscow and won gold medals in the 1,500 m freestyle (16:58.5) at the European championships. He was ranked number three in the world in the 1,500-meter freestyle in 1966.
On 8 March 1966, he set a world record in the 800 m freestyle, at 8:47.4, in Budapest.
By 1972, he had broken 67 Soviet national freestyle records and at 29 years of age, he became the youngest-ever president of the Moscow Swim Federation and vice president of the Soviet Union Federation.
Beginning in the early 1980s, he developed physical and psychological training programs for figure skaters. He created a special fitness program for skaters to increase their coordination and flexibility, which was used by Australian ice dancing champions in the early 2000s
In 1999, he moved to Stamford, Connecticut.