Gertrude Ederle was born in nyc on October 23, 1905. In 1926, Gertrude became the very first woman to swim the English Channel; her record breaking accomplishment brought her a amount of popularity and acclaim. Gertrude expired in age 98. Gertrude Ederle was born on October 23, 1905, in nyc. From a young age she was enthusiastic about swimming, which she learned in the neighborhood public pool and in the New Jersey seashore where her family spent summers.
Competing locally, Gertrude had her first triumph in age 16, and between 1921 and 1925 she held 29 records. In 1924, Ederle swam in the Olympic Games in Paris, where her freestyle team won three medals. In 1925, Gertrude started training to swim on the other side of the English Channel, the 21 miles of water between England and the European mainland.
Ederle’s first effort to swim the channel, in 1925, was disqualified midway through on a technicality. Ederle made her second, successful attempt on August 6, 1926. Ederle began at Cape Gris-Nez on the French shore, wearing a two piece bathing suit with goggles and also a swim cap. Ederle coated her body with lanolin as protection from jellyfish stings as well as the water’s chilly temperature.
Once Ederle entered the water, her improvement through harsh waves and strong currents was supervised with a tugboat that sailed nearby, taking her trainer T.W. Burgess and her family members. Ederle arrived on coast at Kingsdown, England, after 14 hours and 31 minutes, surpassing the record set from the last male channel swimmers. Ederle was greeted by near-riotous crowds when she returned home to the Big Apple. Ecstatic admirers welcomed her at the pier, thronged the roads across the ticker-tape parade in her honour, and mobbed her upon her entrance at City Hall, where Mayor Jimmy Walker congratulated her.
For quite some time, America’s “Queen of the Waves” was a sports star as well as a cultural ace on level with Babe Ruth or Charles Lindbergh. “Queenof record remained unbroken until 1950. After her channel swim, Ederle made a lucrative tour on the vaudeville circuit, giving swimming demonstrations. After enduring a serious back injury in 1933, she was never in a position to compete again, although she did give swim performances in the “Aquacade” drawing card of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Her later life was quiet: She stated that she’d reached her one dream by crossing the English Channel. She taught swimming to kids in the Lexington School for the Deaf. She never married and she lived gently with several female friends in the Flushing, Queens, neighborhood of nyc. A hearing difficulty that had troubled Ederle since her youth caused her ultimate deafness. Ederle expired in Wyckoff, New Jersey, in 2003 in age 98.