Vernon Slovin

Vernon Lee Slovin was born on 6th Sep 1945, and he died on the 10th May 1990.

He was a Springbok butterfly swimmer from Cape Town. Vernon was member of the 1964 Springbok swim team that toured to West Germany and England. 

He took up a swimming scholarship at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas in 1964, but returned to South Africa to win Springbok colours again in 1969 and 1970. 

Vernon's matchup against Rhodesian John Keyter was a highlight of the 1969 South African championships. Keyter was only 19, and had not compete outside southern Africa - whereas Slovin was returning from 5 years in the USA where he had competed against the best swimmers in the world. In the end Keyter was to beat Vernon Slovin in 1969 and again in 1970.  

Vernon returned to SMU to complete a MBA, and eventually settled in California, where he competed as a masters swimmer with San Diego Imperial SC.

His life and death by suicide is the basis for a book by his Sebastian Slovin - called Ashes in the Ocean: A Son’s Story of Living though and Learning from his Father’s suicide

First Rebel Springboks to take part in British Championships in 1964: L-R: Basil Hotz; Me; Geoff Grylls; Jon Reen, Vernon Slovin; Neil Oldridge (latter was only 0.8 off world record for 110yds 'Fly. This team together with Tich McLachlan and Tudor Lacey won 9 out of 11 possible gold medals in the championsips.

March 1969 - South African swimming championships - Newlands Pool, Cape Town. Mens 100m butterfly medals award - with Vernon Slovin on the right receiving a silver medal. The race waas won by Rhodesian John Keyter, and another Rhodesian Rodney Hamilton finished in third place.

1963: More than 50 years ago the South African Universities joint Water Polo and Swimming Team (known as the Proteas were at the World Student Games in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Standing from left to right: Chris Gould (swim), Ian Hamilton (WP) Carl Dyason (WP), Geoff Grylls (swim) & Johan Zwart (WP).Seated from left to right: Ian Becker (WP) Robbie Schwartz (WP) Kallie Botha (WP-Captain), Harry Getz (Manager), Rod "Ginger" Anderson (WP) & Murray "Tich" McLaughlin (swim*), Front row: Vernon Slovin (swim) & John Reen (swim).

Oud-Springbok sterf in Perth

'n VOORMALIGE Springbokswemmer van Kaapstad, mnr. Vernon Slovin, is in Perth in Australië dood in sy motor aangetref. Geen misdaad word vermoed nie. Mnr. Slovin (44) het die laaste paar jaar in Australië gewoon. Na verneem word, het mnr. Slovin geldelike en huislike probleme gehad. Hy was twee jaar gelede by 'n aandelemark-transaksie in New York betrokke waarin beleggers $10 miljoen (sowat R26 miljoen) verloor het. Mnr. Slovin was negentien jaar lank die Suid-Afrikaanse rekordhouer in die 200-m-vlinderslag

Sebastian Slovin

Vernon Slovin was a legend—one of the best swimmers in his home country of South Africa, and for a time in the world. He prided himself on being the best—in sports, business, and life. He had it all, a big home, athletic prestige, fancy clothes and cars, and a beautiful wife and family. Everything was going his way until it all came tumbling down. He lost everything, including his own life. In the wake of his suicide he left his wife and two young children.

In this riveting memoir, Vernon’s son, Sebastian Slovin chronicles his experience of living in the shadow of a suicide, and his journey to uncover why his father took his own life. A pilgrimage that led him around the world and eventually back to himself.

Ashes in the Ocean is a powerful story about facing one’s fears and choosing a different path.