Dr. Lee won consecutive gold medals in platform diving at the 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Games.
Dr. Sammy Lee in 2012.
Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal and the first American to win consecutive gold medals in platform diving, died of complications from pneumonia on Friday. He was 96.
Lee won a gold medal in 10-meter platform diving and a bronze in 3-meter springboard diving at the 1948 Olympics in London, and a gold in platform diving at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, becoming the first male diver to win back-to-back gold medals in two different Olympics — and at age 32, the oldest to win an Olympic diving title. He was named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990.
(By the way, 1948 was a hell of a year for Asian Americans at the Olympics. At the same Olympic Games in London, Vicki Manolo Draves became the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, and the first woman to win springboard and platform gold medals in the same Olympics.)