Seal Beach’s Olympic Icon Pat McCormick has passed away

The four-time Olympic Gold Medalist was 92

Pat McCormick and her friend Presley Aguilar, spending time at Café St. Germain in Seal Beach.

Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and three-time Pan American Games Gold Medalist Patricia Joan Keller McCormick, passed away in an assisted living home in Orange County, California at approximately 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, March 7.

She was 92 years old.

As of 9:30 a.m., Wednesday morning, both the Encyclopedia Britanica and Wikepedia webites had not been updated with the news of her passing.

Patricia “Pat” McCormick was born in 1930, and remained a loyal and dedicated resident of Seal Beach until her passing. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, she was born in Seal Beach and grew up in Long Beach.

She was “was the first athlete to win gold medals in both the springboard and platform diving events at two Olympic Games,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Pat started her diving career practicing on a Los Alamitos bridge and later went on to win a total of four Gold Medals for diving in the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, and 3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal in the Pan American Games in 1951 and 1955.

But, she was not only an amazing athlete, but she also worked as a swimsuit model for several years both before and after her Olympic fame.

Pat McCormick. Courtesy photo

Always an outspoken advocate for children and the importance of education, Pat spent much of her life running a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in challenged areas of the country to find success through sports and education.  Karen Hadley, writing as “Aunt Gertie,” profiled Pat when the Olympian turned 90.

“Her goal was to help young kids stay in school and become winners in life.   A perfect choice for a woman who became a role model society could respect and admire.  Pat went to work raising funds for these children so they wouldn’t drop out and instead become productive adults,” Hadley wrote at the time.

She was an honored official for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and was invited to several Olympic games as both a diplomat and advocate for females athletes.

As a retired athlete, Pat would spend her time eating at and visiting some of her favorite establishments in Seal Beach, such as Glory Days, Nick’s Deli, and Café St. Germain. But if asked she would always claim to be eating like an athlete and was always in training.

Pat was always quick with a smile and a story—especially for any kids that she would come across.

Many in this community and surrounding cities remember Pat as their swim coach and mentor.

A pool located in Bolivar Park in Lakewood was later dedicated to and named after Ms. McCormick. The pool still proudly hosts swimming lessons for hundreds of kids every year.

Pat is survived by a daughter who also went on to be a champion diver and a son.

Pat is also beloved and will be missed by hundreds of friends in her hometown of Seal Beach.