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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, [REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ggbain-38654]
REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original neg.) ggbain 38654 hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ , CARD #: ggb2006014059
Gertrude Ederle, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gertrude Caroline Ederle (October 23, 1906 – November 30, 2003) was an American competitive swimmer. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel.
At the 1924 Summer Olympics, she won a gold medal as a part of the US 400-meter freestyle relay team and bronze medals for finishing third in the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle races.
The following year, 1925, she swam a 21-mile crossing across Lower New York Bay, from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, taking over seven hours. Later that year, she made her first attempt at swimming the Channel, but she was disqualified when a trainer grabbed her after she began coughing.
Her famous cross-channel swim began at Cap Gris-Nez in France at 07:05 on the morning of August 6, 1926. Fourteen hours and 30 minutes later, she came ashore at Kingsdown, England. Her record stood until Florence Chadwick swam the channel in 1950 in 13 hours and 20 minutes.
When Ederle returned home, she was greeted with a ticker-tape parade in New York City. She went on to play herself in a movie (Swim Girl, Swim) and tour the vaudeville circuit. She met President Coolidge and had a song and a dance step named for her.
She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965.
Ederle had poor hearing since childhood due to measles, and by the 1940s she was completely deaf. She passed away on November 30, 2003 in Wyckoff, New Jersey, at the age of 97 and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Gertrude Ederle.
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