On today in 1926, on her behalf second attempt, 19-year-old Gertrude Ederle becomes the 1st woman to swim the 21 miles from Dover, England, to Cape Griz-Nez over the English Channel, which separates Great Britain from the northwestern tip of France.
Ederle was created to German immigrants on October 23, 1906, in New York City. She didn’t figure out how to swim until she was nine yrs . old, and it had not been until she was 15 that she discovered suitable enter the water. Just 2 yrs later, at the 1924 Paris Olympics, Ederle won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 meter relay and a bronze in the 100- and 400-meter freestyle races. In June 1925, Ederle became the original woman to swim along New York Bay, breaking the preceding men’s record by swimming from the New York Battery to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in 7 hours 11 minutes. That identical summer months, Ederle produced her initial try at crossing the notoriously cold and choppy English Channel, but after eight hours and 46 minutes, her coach, Jabez Wolff, forced her to cease, out of concern that she was swallowing a whole lot saltwater also. ( ************************************************************) fired and disagreed, replacing him with T.W. Burgess, an experienced Channel swimmer.
On August 6, 1926, Ederle entered the water at Cape Gris-Nez in France at 7:08 a.m. to create her second try at the Channel. The water was predictably cold as she began that morning, but calm unusually. Twice that day, however-at noon and 6 p.m.-Ederle encountered squalls along her route and Burgess urged her to complete the swim. Ederle’s father and sister, though, who have been riding in the boat alongside Burgess, agreed with Ederle that she have to remain the course. Ederle’s father had promised her a fresh roadster towards the end of the swim, and for added motivation he referred to as out to her in the water to remind her that the roadster was only hers if she completed. Ederle persevered via storms and heavy swells, and, ultimately, at 9:04 p.m. immediately after 14 hours and 31 minutes in the water, she reached the English coast, becoming the sixth person and initial lady to swim the Channel successfully. Furthermore, she had bettered the sooner record by two hours.
Afterward, Ederle told Alec Rutherford of The New York Times, “I knew it could be done, it had to be done, and I did it.” Ederle’s feat was celebrated by way of a ticker-tape parade in New York City, and she received congratulations from fans which range from the mayor of New York City to Henry Sullivan, the initial American man ever to swim the Channel.
Ederle damaged her hearing throughout the Channel swim, and continued to get significantly of her adult life teaching deaf youngsters in New York City to swim. She died in 2003 at age 98.