May 24, 2024

Richard Thornton, a US Olympian and Bay Space swim coach, died Thursday on the age of 65. 

Thornton died after collapsing on a seashore in Santa Cruz County as he ready to log on, his brother instructed ABC 7. 

A surfer rides a wave at Mavericks on December 17, 2018, in Half Moon Bay, California. An enormous swell introduced waves of as much as 50 ft excessive to Northern California.   (Ezra Shaw/Getty Photographs)

“He was following his buddy down the steps,” mentioned Marc Thornton, Richard’s brother. “His buddy jumped within the water, regarded up for Richard, and Richard was simply standing there at peace not clutching his coronary heart or something and he simply type of collapsed into the water.”

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His household mentioned he had been receiving therapy for a number of myeloma, however the actual reason behind dying isn’t recognized. 

Thornton certified within the 200 freestyle for the 1980 Summer time Olympics in Moscow however didn’t attend, as the USA led a boycott of the video games, in line with Cal males’s swimming and diving.  

Richard Thornton pictured in summer season 1980  (Kenneth Grimes/Thornton Household/Fb)

From 1977-1980, he attended the College of California at Berkeley, the place he was a two-time All-American and a nationwide champion. 

“We’re heartbroken to be taught of the passing of Cal Swimming nice Richard Thornton,” Cal athletics posted to X. “Our ideas are with Richard’s household, buddies, and all of these he impacted within the Cal group.”

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Thornton grew to become the pinnacle coach of the San Ramon Valley Aquatics in 1984, and he coached a number of future Olympians. 

Marc Thornton instructed KTVU Fox 2 that his brother had been a mentor to many younger swimmers. 

Kate Douglass competes for the U.S.

Kate Douglass of the USA competes within the Ladies’s Medley 200m Semifinal through the twentieth World Aquatics Championships on the Marine Messe Corridor A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 23, 2023  (DBM/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio through Getty Photographs)

“He would sit down with them personally and really perceive them individually and assist them obtain what they may obtain,” his brother mentioned. 

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“He was very open and earnest. He simply cared about individuals on an individualized foundation, and that’s why individuals I believe regarded as much as him as a mentor.”

Thornton was the pinnacle coach of the 1995 U.S. World Championship and is survived by his spouse and daughter.