Brothers Face Off in Water Polo at the Tokyo Olympics: Dutch Fred vs American Tony

Tony and Fred van Dorp_15 October, 1964_AP
Tony and Fred van Dorp_15 October, 1964_AP

They were born in Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, which is modern-day Jakarta Indonesia. And these brothers of Dutch nationals played water polo together for the Dutch national team…until 1963. The elder brother, (Anton) Tony van Dorp, had moved to the United States in 1957 and became an American citizen in due course. The younger brother, (Alfred) Fred van Dorp, stayed in Holland and competed for the Dutch team at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960. Tony debuted in Olympic competition in Tokyo in 1964, but with the USA team.

And three days after the commencement of the Tokyo Games, the brothers found themselves immediately facing off as Holland took on America. Fred had the first laugh, as he was able to fire a goal past Tony in the first minute of the game. In the final quarter, Tony got the second laugh as he stuffed Fred on a penalty shot. As AP related of the game,

“Right-handed players like myself throw to the right side of the goal in such a situation,” Alfred explained. “But I thought I’d fool him so I threw the ball to the left side.”

Said Tony, “I figured he’d try to trick me, and I was ready. Maybe I know my brother too well.”

But Fred got the last laugh as Holland emerged victorious 6-4, a nice birthday present for the younger brother. Said Tony, “We hated to lose, but we’ll consider the win a sort of birthday present for Al. It’ll save me buying him something myself.”