July 30, 2012 12:00 AM
" It was 1924 and the Olympics were being held in Paris. That’s when a 19-year-old woman from New York City emerged on the world stage. She was a swimming phenomenon and the Olympics were just the beginning of a fantastic career.
Her name was Gertrude Ederle, known as Trudy by her friends and fans. Her father was a butcher, a German immigrant who owned a shop on Amsterdam Avenue. Her mother, Anna, taught Gertrude how to swim at the summer cottage they owned in Highlands, New Jersey. Gertrude was a natural. She loved the water and fell in love with swimming as a toddler.
At the 1924 Olympics, Ederle won a gold medal and two bronze medals, setting a world record time of 4:58:08 in a relay race. When Ederle turned pro in 1925, she had 29 world and U.S. records.
Then she undertook the athletic challenge of her life -- the swim across the English Channel. As New York Times writer Richard Severo put it, Ederle became a symbol of the Roaring 20’s, a darling of the American public with as much clout as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden and Red Grange "
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“During the 1920s Gertrude Ederle [the first woman to swim across the English Channel] swam here. My grandmother was in college up in Boston and timed her trip down to see her swim,” Myers said. When Ederle did cross the Channel in 1926 on her ...Read more
Though she wasn't an Olympic athlete, Gertrude Ederle set the stage for future female swimmers when she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel on August 6th, 1926. Despite the fact that the 19-year old New Yorker chose a day so ...Read more
One of the most famous American swimmers was Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003), who competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay team and bronze for the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle races. Ederle ...Read more