Missing Olympic Diving Champion Sammy Lee Found Safe

sammy-leeHUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) — Two-time Olympic gold medalist Samuel “Sammy” Lee was found safe on Tuesday after a daylong search.

Sheriff’s deputies located Lee in Pico Rivera just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The 92-year-old, who suffers from dementia and heart problems, had been missing since Monday.

According to his wife, Lee left his home in Huntington Beach at 1 p.m. for his regular swim at Los Caballeros Sports Club in Fountain Valley. But he never came home.

Lee was last seen driving a tan 2011 Mercedes 300 with California license plate “2GOLDS.”

Police said he purchased gas around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Mojave area.

His card was later used at a Best Buy in Westminster and then a gas station in Studio City.

Lee’s wife and children were worried sick, but he said didn’t understand what the big deal was.

“I didn’t know I was missing,” he joked after he was found on Tuesday night.

“You know he’s gonna be 93 this year, so obviously it’s a big wake-up call,” said son Sammy Lee II.

“We haven’t had an incident to this magnitude. I’m sure everyone out there with parents who are at that age — there comes a time. And obviously, this is our time.”

Lee won a gold medal in the men’s platform at the London Games in 1948, becoming the first American of Asian descent to win a gold medal.

At 32, he won again at Helsinki in 1952, becoming the oldest diver to win a gold medal.

Lee has also coached other Olympic greats, such as Bob Webster and silver-medalist Greg Louganis.

Filed in: Local News, News

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