STATEMENT: Ryu On Sammy Lee

Los Angeles, CA - Councilmember David Ryu issued the following statement regarding the passing of Sammy Lee, a diver who became the first Asian American to win an Olympic medal.


“Sammy Lee was a trailblazer and regarded as one of the most influential Asian Americans in sports history. He had a decorated career as a diver and became the first Asian American male to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States and the first man to win back-to-back medals in Olympic platform diving. Sammy later coached some of America’s best Olympic divers and influenced Asian Americans across the United States, including me.  

As a Korean American, I was extremely proud of Sammy’s accomplishments. He overcame racial barriers during a tumultuous period and achieved the unthinkable. I had the privilege to cross paths with Sammy and was truly inspired by his spirit -- he was a humble and honest man. While Sammy’s presence will be missed, his legacy will live on and inspire a new generation of Asian American divers.  


Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.

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