This page remembers the webmaster's close encounter with Roy Saari, one of the world's best during the 1960s.

The time:            August 1965

The place:          Dinamo Olympic Pool, Bucharest, Romania

The occasion:     Romanian National Championship Finals


In August 1965, immediately after the World University Games hosted by Hungary, six American world-class swimmers were 

invited to participate "hors concours" (not officially part of the competition) in the Romanian National Championship Finals. 

Among the guests, four Olympic champions: Gary Ilman, Carl Robie, Dick Roth, and Roy Saari. 


Seeing the world's elite in action - not to mention sharing the locker room with our idols - has had a lasting impact on ILSA's 

star-struck team of young swimmers (no one older than eighteen, webmaster was fifteen).


Swimming in lane four, the Americans won all their events, with one notable exception. The honor of beating a top American 

swimmer went to ILSA's own Koszta Laci, who along with Bucharest's Angel Sopterian, defeated Tom Tretheway in the 

100 meter breaststroke event.

Summary of Roy Saari's Athletic Achievements

Olympic Trivia


The Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 was possibly the only time a father and his two sons participated in the same Olympics. 

Urho Saari, the father, coached the USA water polo team, while sons Bob and Roy made the water polo and swim teams, respectively.

Roy Saari Update


Sadly, Roy Saari passed away in January 2009. The photo shows Roy with his wife, Cheryl. 

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