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Dick Roth

Park City, Utah

Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer

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Natalie Obando

Book Cover

Swimmer, Hippie, Cowboy Cover.jpg

Publisher: Classic Day Publishing

Language: English

Paperback: 347 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59849-348-1

SWIMMER, HIPPIE, COWBOY begins with the story of Dick Roth's Olympic experience in Tokyo in 1964. Roth won his race, the 400 Individual Medley (in swimming), after refusing emergency surgery for an appendix attack—that refusal and victory gained Roth world-wide recognition and a life most would have dreamed of. He grew up living an American Dream childhood and young adulthood on the San Francisco Peninsula, attending Stanford on a swimming scholarship. Everything that could go right did, but there was still a longing. SWIMMER, HIPPIE, COWBOY follows Roth on his journey for fulfillment that accolades and career achievements simply could not bring. After finding very few lasting rewards in that life, he became involved in the hippie movement of the 1960’s, taking LSD and smoking cannabis like many of that era. To get away from the drug scene, but still on a quest for a higher purpose, Roth moved to a small isolated cabin near Jackson, Wyoming in where his 'spiritual life’ took on an importance and direction that helped him grow into the person he is today. 


Roth's memoir describes the communal style of life at the time with its ups and downs. When the commune bought a half million acre cattle ranch in northeastern Nevada, Roth moved there, and, after a couple of years, became the ranch  manager. SWIMMER, HIPPIE, COWBOY elucidates Roth's unusual and fascinating ten-year long cowboy life on the ‘big outfit’ and concludes with the ultimate  emptiness and fulfillment of his lifelong pursuit of self-gratification.

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