“People said women couldn’t swim the Channel, but I proved they could.” This quote comes from Gertrude Ederle (1905 – 2003), who set a new world record in the 800-meter freestyle at age 12, becoming the youngest world record holder in history.
She took home one gold and two bronze medals from the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, but her biggest dream was to swim across the English Channel, which had previously been accomplished only by five men. In 1925 her first attempt ended in failure when she took a break and her coach mistook it for drowning: because he sent another swimmer to help her, she was disqualified.
Her second attempt, on August 6, 1926, was successful, and her record of 14 hours and 31 minutes would only be broken in 1950. Moreover, she beat the previous record by two hours.
Find more interesting stories in our monthly magazine.
Click on www.myhistorydigest.com