No one knows who John Chudzikiewicz is. It is a shame
because he was the first American to win a gold medal
in the Deaflympics.
In the 1935 Deaflympics he won the gold in the javelin.
And as an interesting footnote, he also played basketball
in the 1953 Deaflympics 18 years later! To make a long
story short, he was originally taking part in the javelin
at the 1953 Deaflympics. For some reason, the 1953
Deaflympics organizers added basketball at the last minute,
catching the Americans off guard. The American group was
small; they traveled to the 1953 Deaflympics site in
two separate groups. The Americans agreed to play
basketball but only had 4 available players – John
Chudzikiewicz, plus three others. An American tourist,
not part of the Deaflympics group, was recruited to
become the team’s 5th player. John Chudzikiewicz,
who had not played basketball in 18 years, played the
entire game without rest. The next day the second
American group arrived, and they were able to join
the shorthanded team. The Americans did not win the
gold, but came home with a bronze medal.