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United StatesActivistBusiness

Nancy Hogshead

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is an American swimmer and CEO of Champion Women. She won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Her advocacy work focuses on equality and accountability in sports, addressing issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse.

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UkraineDisabledDiscus Thrower

Zoia Ovsii

Zoia Ovsii, a Ukrainian Paralympic athlete, has overcome physical challenges from a young age to become a dominant force in para-athletics. With exceptional talent and determination, Ovsii has earned numerous accolades, including gold medals at the 2020 Summer Paralympics and World Para Athletics Championships. Her inspiring journey showcases the power of resilience and the human spirit.

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United StatesCoachSwimmer

Sharon Stouder

Sharon Marie Stouder (1948–2013) was an American competition swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport at a young age. At the 1964 Summer Olympics, she won three gold medals and one silver, solidifying her place as one of the most successful female swimmers of her time. Stouder’s remarkable achievements in the butterfly and freestyle events, including setting world records, earned her a place in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Her legacy as one of the greatest female swimmers of all time endures.

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United StatesSwimmer

Jill Savery

Jill Savery, an American competitor in synchronized swimming and Olympic champion, made history by winning synchronized swimming’s first-ever gold medal in the team event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Her impact on the sport extends beyond her own achievements, inspiring future generations of synchronized swimmers and contributing to the growth and development of the sport worldwide.

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New ZealandArcherDisabled

Eve Rimmer

Eva Marion “Eve” Rimmer, born in 1937 in Whanganui, New Zealand, became one of New Zealand’s greatest paraplegic athletes. Despite facing a life-altering accident at the age of fifteen, Eve’s indomitable spirit led her to become a world-renowned athlete. With an impressive collection of medals and accolades, Eve’s inspiring story continues to empower individuals with disabilities and serves as a reminder of the power of determination. She will be forever remembered as a pioneer in women’s sports, leaving behind an enduring legacy.

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United StatesAviationPilot

Jerrie Mock

Geraldine “Jerrie” Fredritz Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world, made history in 1964 with her daring expedition. Her flight path covered 21 stopovers across nearly 22,860 miles, capturing the world’s attention and paving the way for future female aviators. Her legacy as an aviation pioneer and trailblazer remains an inspiration to this day.

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NetherlandsMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Irene van der Laan

Irene van der Laan, a Dutch professional open water swimmer, became one of the greatest athletes in her field. Her exceptional abilities and unwavering determination propelled her to achieve remarkable feats, including being the first female to finish a 16-kilometer race and successfully navigating the English Channel. Her record-breaking two-way English Channel crossing and numerous marathon swimming competitions solidified her status as a swimming prodigy and Women’s World Champion. Irene’s dedication to her sport and appreciation for her team left an indelible mark on the world of open water swimming.

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GermanySwimmer

Andrea Pollack

Andrea Pollack (later Pinske; 8 May 1961 – 13 March 2019) was a butterfly swimmer from East Germany who won three Olympic gold medals. Born in 1961 in Schwerin, Pollack became one of the most successful swimmers of her time.

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Great BritainSwimmer

Anita Lonsbrough

Anita Lonsbrough, MBE, was a former swimmer from Great Britain who became an Olympic gold medalist. She achieved numerous world records and gold medals throughout her career, including a historic victory at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Lonsbrough’s contributions to the sport have inspired generations of female swimmers and she was honored with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to swimming.

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JapanSwimmer

Hideko Maehata

Hideko Maehata was a Japanese breaststroke swimmer and the first Japanese woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics. She displayed promise as a swimmer from a young age and set a youth record for the 50-meter breaststroke at a young age. Despite losing her parents, Hideko’s talent was recognized, and she went on to win the silver medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Motivated by a challenge from the Tokyo mayor, she trained intensely and set a world record for the 200-meter breaststroke. Hideko went on to win the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Her achievements were celebrated, and she was awarded the Purple Ribbon of Merit and inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, leaving an enduring legacy in Japanese swimming and women’s history.

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FranceSwimmer

Laure Manadou

Laure Manaudou, born on October 9, 1986, in Villeurbanne, France, is a retired French Olympic, world, and European champion swimmer. She is widely recognized for her dominance in freestyle events, holding world records between 200 and 1500 meters. Manaudou’s remarkable achievements have not only solidified her place in swimming history but have also had a significant impact on women’s sports.

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ArgentinaSwimmer

Jeannette Campbell

Jeannette Morven Campbell was a trailblazing Argentine swimmer who became the first Argentine female to participate in the Olympic Games. Her remarkable achievements in swimming, including breaking records and winning a silver medal in the 1936 Summer Olympics, paved the way for future generations of female athletes in South America. Campbell’s legacy as an exceptional athlete and an inspiration to others lives on.

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HungaryJewishSwimmer

Eva Szekely

Éva Székely was a Hungarian swimmer who defied expectations and left an indelible mark on the sport. Overcoming discrimination and the horrors of the Holocaust, she became one of Hungary’s greatest athletes. With numerous medals, world records, and prestigious awards, her exceptional journey continues to inspire athletes around the world.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Tracey Wickham

Tracey Lee Wickham MBE, OAM is an Australian former middle distance swimmer. She was the World Champion for the 400 m and 800 m freestyle in 1978, and won gold in both events at the 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games. Wickham’s dominance in the pool earned her multiple world records and solidified her status as one of Australia’s greatest swimmers.

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Great BritainSwimmer

Hilda James

Hilda Marjorie James, born in 1904, was a prominent British competitive swimmer who overcame obstacles to rise to prominence in the early 20th century. She achieved remarkable success, setting world and English records in swimming. Despite facing setbacks, James remains an inspiration to female athletes, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of swimming.

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NetherlandsMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Judith van Berkel-de Nijs

Judith van Berkel-de Nijs is a Dutch swimmer known for her achievements in marathon swimming during the 1960s and 1970s. She became the national champion in the 1500m freestyle and held the prestigious title of world No. 1 in marathon swimming multiple times. Her impact on the sport has inspired future generations of female swimmers.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Shelley Taylor-Smith

Shelley Taylor-Smith (born 3 August 1961) is a former Australian long-distance swimmer. Born in Perth, Western Australia, Taylor-Smith suffered from scoliosis throughout her school years. Despite wearing a back brace, she excelled in national age group swimming competitions. She later transitioned to marathon swimming, breaking the world record in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1995. Taylor-Smith’s incredible achievements and resilience make her an icon in women’s sports history.

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United StatesSwimmer

Sharon Wichman

Sharon Lynn Wichman, known as Sharon Jones after marriage, is a former American competition swimmer and Olympic champion. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, she made history with her exceptional performance in the pool. Wichman’s talent flourished under the coaching of Stefan Hunyadfi, and she went on to win the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke event, setting a new Olympic record. Her legacy as an Olympic champion and trailblazer for American women in swimming continues to inspire generations of athletes.

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NetherlandsMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Monique Wildschut

Monique Wildschut, a renowned marathon swimmer from the Netherlands, captivated the swimming community with her immense talent and remarkable achievements. She made history as the first woman to win the Atlantic City marathon swim and set numerous records in races all around the world. Monique’s determination and contributions to the sport continue to inspire aspiring marathon swimmers and women athletes worldwide.

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United StatesSwimmerWriter

Lynne Cox

Lynne Cox is an American long-distance open-water swimmer, writer, and speaker. Born on January 2, 1957, she has made remarkable achievements throughout her career that have not only pushed the boundaries of human endurance but also had a significant impact on international relations.

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United StatesSwimmer

Maurine Kornfeld

Maurine Kornfeld, a remarkable figure in the world of swimming, is an embodiment of determination, passion, and resilience. Born and raised in Great Falls, Montana, Kornfeld’s love for the water started at an early age. However, it wasn’t until she reached her sixties that she truly embraced swimming and embarked on a Masters Swimming journey that would redefine her life.

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United StatesSwimmer

Penny Dean

Penny Lee Dean is an American long-distance swimmer who has left an indelible mark on the world of open water swimming. Her career began at a young age when she embarked on a formidable swim across the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay at the tender age of 10. Little did the world know that this was just the beginning of a remarkable journey that would see Dean achieve numerous world records and blaze new trails in the sport.

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FranceDiverSwimmer

Audrey Mestre

Audrey Mestre (1974-2002) was a French world record-setting freediver. Despite her untimely death during a tragic diving accident, Mestre’s remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to the sport continue to inspire future generations of divers.

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BelarusNurseSwimmer

Zinaida Tusnolobova-Marchenko

Zinaida Tusnolobova-Marchenko, born in 1920 in Polotsk, Belarus, grew up in a rural setting with a humble upbringing. Motivated by a strong determination to contribute to the war effort, she joined the Red Army during World War II and worked as a medic in the 849th Rifle Regiment. Despite sustaining serious injuries and enduring a brutal attack, Tusnolobova-Marchenko’s resilience and unwavering commitment earned her the esteemed title of Hero of the Soviet Union and further recognition for her exceptional devotion and service in the field of nursing. Her story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

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CanadaSwimmer

Chantal Petitclerc

Chantal Petitclerc, born in 1969 in Canada, overcame a life-altering accident at the age of 13 to become one of the most accomplished Canadian athletes of all time. Through swimming lessons in high school and wheelchair sports in college, Petitclerc developed an indomitable spirit and went on to win a total of 21 Paralympic medals, including 14 golds. Her remarkable achievements have shattered barriers and broken stereotypes around physical disabilities, inspiring countless individuals and leaving an indelible mark on society.

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JapanFigure SkaterSwimmer

Midori Ito

Midori Ito (伊藤みどり, Itō Midori, born 13 August 1969) is a retired Japanese figure skater. She is widely recognized as one of the best figure skaters of all time. Ito broke new ground in the sport with her extraordinary athleticism and was the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and a triple Axel in competition.

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FranceSwimmer

Camille Muffat

Camille Muffat (1989-2015) was a French swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist. Known for her talent and determination, she made a significant impact in the swimming world. Muffat’s career was marked by remarkable achievements and a tragic end, leaving a lasting legacy in the annals of swimming history.

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United StatesSwimmer

Sandy Neilson-Bell

Sandy Neilson-Bell is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and former world record-holder. Born Sandra Lynn Neilson on March 20, 1956, she has made significant contributions to the world of swimming and has left a lasting impact on the sport.

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RussiaSwimmer

Galina Prozumenshchikova

Galina Prozumenshchikova, a Soviet breaststroke swimmer, achieved great success at the Olympic Games and European Championships during the 1960s and 1970s. Her talent and dedication in the pool not only brought her personal glory but also made a significant impact on Soviet swimming history.

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United StatesJewishSwimmer

Keena Rothhammer

Keena Ruth Rothhammer was an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events. Born on February 26, 1957, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Rothhammer’s swimming career would leave a lasting impact on the sport, placing her among the most accomplished female swimmers of her time.

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United StatesSwimmer

Sylvia Ruuska

Sylvia Eliina Ruuska, born on July 4, 1942, in the United States, had a remarkable career as a competition swimmer. She achieved great success as an Olympic swimmer, earning two medals for the United States at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Ruuska also set multiple world records in the 400-meter and 200-meter individual medley events. Her contributions to the sport were recognized when she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976.

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United StatesSwimmer

Gail Roper

Gail Peters, also known as Gail Roper, was an American competitive swimmer who represented the United States at the 1952 Summer Olympics. She achieved great success in her swimming career, winning numerous titles and setting records. Peters took a break from swimming to raise her children but returned as a masters swimmer, achieving even more remarkable success. She also pursued a career as a marine biologist and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1997.

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United StatesSwimmer

Tracie Ruiz

Tracie Lehuanani Ruiz-Conforto, born on February 4, 1963, is a renowned synchronised swimmer from the United States who has left an indelible mark on the sport. Throughout her career, she demonstrated exceptional talent in both solo and duet routines, amassing an impressive number of medals and making her one of the most successful athletes in her discipline.

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United StatesSwimmer

Shelley Mann

Shelley Isabel Mann, born on October 15, 1937, in Long Island, New York, was an American competition swimmer and Olympic medalist. She rose to prominence in the swimming world during the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, where she displayed incredible skill and determination.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Lucy Morton

Lucy Morton, later known as Lucy Heaton, was an English competition swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport during the early 20th century. Born on 23 February 1898 in New Tatton, Cheshire, Lucy’s father Alfred worked as a groom in domestic service. The family eventually relocated to Blackpool, where Lucy would begin her remarkable journey as a swimmer.

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RomaniaSwimmer

Diana Mocanu

Diana Iuliana Mocanu, born on July 19, 1984, in Brăila, Romania, is a former Olympic and national record holding swimmer. Throughout her esteemed career, Mocanu made a significant impact on Romanian swimming and left an indelible mark on the sport.

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Great BritainSwimmer

Belle Moore

Isabella “Belle” Mary Moore, later known as Belle Cameron, was a Scottish competitive swimmer who represented Great Britain in the Olympics. Born on October 23, 1894, she became a remarkable athlete known for her swimming prowess. At the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, Moore achieved an incredible feat. She won a gold medal as a member of the first-place British women’s team in the 4×100-metre freestyle relay.

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RussiaSwimmer

Olga Sedakova

Olga Genrikhovna Sedakova is a former Russian synchronized swimmer who achieved remarkable success in her career. Competing at two Olympic Games, Sedakova won three gold medals in the World Championships and nine golds at the European Championships. Her outstanding achievements and contributions to the sport led to her induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2019.

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United StatesSwimmer

Albina Osipowich

Albina Osipowich Van Aken’s career may have been brief, but her impact was colossal. She blazed across the horizon in 1928, leaving an indelible mark on the swimming world. Her double gold medal win, setting both World and Olympic records, was a testament to her unmatched talent and relentless drive. Osipowich’s numerous accomplishments, including two National A.A.U. titles in the 100 and 220 freestyle, and her American long course records in the 200, 220, and 100 freestyle, all attained in 1928, solidify her status as a national icon.

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JapanSwimmer

Miya Tachibana

Miya Tachibana, born in Ōtsu, Shiga in 1974, is a Japanese competitor in synchronized swimming. With a deep love and affinity for the water from a young age, Tachibana immersed herself in the world of synchronized swimming, becoming one of the most celebrated synchronized swimmers in history. With remarkable success, including five Olympic medals and numerous other accolades, Tachibana’s talent and dedication have left an indelible mark on the sport.

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United StatesSwimmer

Kathy Ellis

Kathleen Ellis, born on November 28, 1946, is an American former competition swimmer, two-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in three events. Her remarkable career in swimming made her a trailblazer for future female athletes.

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JapanSwimmer

Miho Takeda

Miho Takeda, a renowned Japanese competitor in synchronized swimming, is celebrated for her extraordinary talent and dedication to her craft. From her humble beginnings in Kyoto, Takeda rose to become one of Japan’s most decorated female Olympians, capturing numerous medals and establishing herself as a true legend in the sport. Her enduring partnership with Miya Tachibana and their pursuit of excellence continues to inspire aspiring synchronized swimmers around the world.

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United StatesMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Sandra Bucha

Sandra Bucha, an influential American swimmer and advocate for social justice, defied expectations and fought for her right to swim. Despite the lack of opportunities for girls in high school swimming, Bucha trained with the boys’ team, pushing boundaries and paving the way for future athletes. Her remarkable achievements and dedication to breaking down barriers continue to inspire generations.

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United StatesSwimmer

Candy Costie

Candace “Candy” Costie, born in 1963 in the United States, is an American synchronized swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. Known for her artistic movements and infectious smile, Candy achieved great success in her career, winning numerous championships and becoming a pioneer in the sport. Her impact on synchronized swimming has inspired many athletes and elevated the popularity of the sport.

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United StatesSwimmer

Rita Simonton

Rita Simonton, born in the 1920s, was an accomplished swimmer and a prominent figure in the world of masters swimming. She had a passion for swimming that began in her early years when she learned to swim with water wings in a brook in Connecticut. Her dedication and determination paid off, as she went on to achieve remarkable success in masters swimming. Rita Simonton’s achievements in masters swimming are truly impressive. She has captured the hearts of spectators and competitors alike with her exceptional performances.

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RussiaCoachSwimmer

Anastasia Davydova

Anastasia Davydova, a Russian former synchronized swimmer and five-time Olympic gold medalist, is celebrated as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport. Her dedication and talent, showcased through flawless routines and numerous victories, have made her an icon in women’s sports. After retiring from competitive swimming, Davydova embarked on a coaching career, passing on her knowledge and expertise to future generations of synchronized swimmers.

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United StatesSwimmer

Ethel Lackie

Ethel Minnie Lackie, an American competition swimmer, achieved remarkable success in the swimming events at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. She won a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, leading to an American medal sweep of the event. Lackie’s exceptional speed and technique made her a dominant force in the pool. She also contributed to the United States’ triumph in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay, setting a world record. Lackie’s legacy as a pioneer for women in swimming lives on, inspiring future generations of swimmers.

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CanadaSwimmer

Michelle Cameron

Michelle A. Cameron-Coulter, CM, was a retired Canadian Olympic synchronized swimmer and former world champion. She formed an incredible partnership with Carolyn Waldo, dominating the synchronized swimming scene and achieving remarkable success. Their most notable achievement came at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where they secured a gold medal in the women’s duet event. Cameron’s outstanding performance not only brought glory to herself but also inspired future generations of synchronized swimmers. She received several honors and accolades for her exceptional contributions to the sport, solidifying her status as one of the country’s greatest synchronized swimmers.

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BrazilSwimmer

Maria Lenk

Maria Emma Hulga Lenk, a Brazilian swimmer, paved the way for women in sports. She was the first South American woman to participate in the Summer Olympic Games, set world records, and even introduced the Butterfly stroke in official competition. Lenk’s dedication to swimming remained unwavering until her passing at the age of 92. Her legacy continues to inspire female athletes worldwide.

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CanadaBroadcasterSwimmer

Carolyn Waldo

Carolyn Jane Waldo, a Canadian former synchronized swimmer and broadcaster, achieved remarkable success in international competition. She won numerous accolades throughout her career, including gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, becoming the first Canadian female athlete to win two gold medals in a single Olympics. Her dedication, proficiency, and indelible mark in the sport of synchronized swimming made her one of the most accomplished synchronized swimmers in Canadian history.

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CanadaSwimmer

Sylvie Frechette

Sylvie Fréchette, Canadian former synchronized swimmer, overcame a scoring error at the 1992 Olympics to win the gold medal in the women’s solo event. Her exceptional skills and artistic expression solidified her reputation as a synchronized swimming powerhouse. Fréchette’s contributions to the sport and her dedication to making a difference in her community have made her a role model for aspiring synchronized swimmers.

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United StatesSwimmer

Anite Nall

Anita Nall-Richesson, a former American competition swimmer, made her mark in the swimming world at a young age. At 15, she broke the world record in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke. Her breakthrough moment came at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where she became the youngest American gold medalist in swimming since 1976. Nall’s technical precision and determination made her a force to be reckoned with in the pool. Despite facing health challenges, she continues to be an inspiration to aspiring swimmers.

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United StatesCoachSwimmer

Becky Dyroen-Lancer

Rebekah “Becky” Dyroen-Lancer, born in 1971 in San Jose, California, became an Olympic champion in synchronized swimming. With her remarkable skills and unwavering dedication, she secured a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Her success continued with gold medals at the Pan American Games and an induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Beyond her competitive achievements, Dyroen-Lancer made contributions to the sport by choreographing for “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and performing in Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show. She now teaches and mentors young athletes, leaving a lasting impact on synchronized swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Eleanor Holm

Eleanor G. Holm was a remarkable American competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. She overcame challenges, controversies, and setbacks throughout her life, but her determination and talent led her to great success. Holm’s legacy includes her achievements in swimming, as well as her career in show business and interior design. Her story is a testament to the resilience and passion required to pursue one’s dreams.

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RussiaSwimmer

Anastasia Ermakova

Anastasia Ermakova, born in Moscow, Russia in 1983, is one of the most decorated synchronized swimmers in history. With her unparalleled level of determination and willpower, she overcame her lack of natural ability and flexibility to achieve incredible success. Throughout her career, Anastasia won multiple gold medals in various competitions, including the Olympic Games and World Championships, solidifying her place in the history of synchronized swimming.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Leisel Jones

Leisel Jones, an Australian former competition swimmer, made her Olympic debut at just 15 years old and went on to become one of the greatest breaststroke swimmers ever. With her classic breaststroke technique and slow starts, she won multiple Olympic gold and silver medals. Beyond her swimming career, Jones became an advocate for mental health and environmental causes, leaving a lasting impression on generations to come.

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JapanSwimmer

Mikako Kotani

Mikako Kotani, an influential figure in synchronized swimming, was born on September 17, 1966, in Tokyo, Japan. Throughout her career, she achieved significant milestones, including being the first female in Japanese history to carry the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Kotani’s legacy endures today, as her groundbreaking achievements continue to inspire young athletes in synchronized swimming.

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RussiaSwimmer

Larisa Ilchenko

Larisa Ilchenko, a Russian long-distance swimmer, burst onto the scene at the age of 16, winning her first World Championships race by a wide margin. She faced adversity throughout her career but always came out on top with her finishing speed. Ilchenko’s dominance in the sport was further solidified by winning multiple world titles and an Olympic gold medal. Her exceptional talent and dedication have made her a legend in open water swimming.

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CanadaSwimmer

Peg Seller

Peg Seller, a remarkable pioneer in synchronized swimming, dedicated her life to developing and promoting this elegant and artistic sport both within Canada and at an international level.

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United StatesSwimmer

Kim Linehan

Kim Linehan (born December 11, 1962) is an American former competition swimmer, world champion, and former world record-holder. She made a significant impact in the swimming world during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her determination and accomplishments inspired countless young swimmers, women in particular, to pursue their dreams and push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of sports.

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United StatesSwimmer

Mariechen Wehselau

Mariechen M. Wehselau, the American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and world record-holder, made history as Hawaii’s first Olympic gold medalist. She represented the United States at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where she set a world record in the 100-meter freestyle semi-final and won a silver medal in the finals. Wehselau’s pioneering role and groundbreaking achievements will forever be remembered in the world of swimming.

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RussiaSwimmer

Elvira Khasyanova

Elvira Khasyanova, a former synchronized swimmer from Russia, had a remarkable career in the sport. Starting at a young age, she honed her skills and eventually became a member of the Russian Senior National Team. With her team, she achieved gold medals in the Olympics and multiple World Championships. After retiring, Khasyanova joined the Special Olympics organization, promoting inclusion and providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Her journey in synchronized swimming serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes.

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United StatesSwimmer

Irene Guest

Irene May Guest (1900-1970), also known as Irene Loog, was an American competition swimmer who made a lasting impact on the world of swimming during a time when women’s sports were still growing. In the 1920 Summer Olympics, she won a silver medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle and a gold medal in the women’s 4×100 meters freestyle relay, setting a new world record. Her achievements and dedication to swimming continue to inspire athletes worldwide.

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United StatesSwimmer

Kristen Babb-Sprague

Kristen Elizabeth Babb-Sprague, born in 1968 in the United States, is a former synchronized swimmer who made significant contributions to the sport. Her incredible career and achievements have made her a prominent figure in women’s sports history. From a young age, she had a passion for the water and eventually became a decorated Olympian, inspiring generations of female athletes.

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United StatesSwimmer

Eleanor Saville

Eleanor Saville, a pioneering American swimmer, left an enduring mark on the world of swimming. She won Olympic medals and set records, becoming the first woman to achieve many remarkable feats in the sport. Her legacy lives on through the Eleanor Garatti-Saville Fund, which supports aspiring Olympic athletes. Eleanor’s impact on women’s sports and dedication to breaking barriers cannot be overstated.

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RussiaSwimmer

Olga Brusnikina

Olga Aleksandrovna Brusnikina, born in 1978, is a Russian synchronized swimmer and three-time Olympic champion. Her talent and grace in the water were evident from a young age, and she went on to have a highly successful career in synchronized swimming. Brusnikina’s achievements include multiple Olympic gold medals, World Championships titles, and an Order of Honour. She continues to make significant contributions to the sport through coaching and leadership roles, leaving a lasting impact on synchronized swimming.

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JapanCoachSwimmer

Satoko Tanaka

Satoko Tanaka, a retired Japanese backstroke swimmer, overcame childhood bronchitis and beriberi to become one of the world’s greatest 200-meter backstrokers of her time. She set multiple world records and captured numerous national titles, showcasing her dominance in the backstroke discipline. Tanaka’s dedication to the sport and her desire to help others overcome challenges have left a lasting impact on the swimming community. In recognition of her achievements, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1991.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Nina Senff

Dina Willemina Jacoba “Nida” Senff, born on April 3, 1920, was a talented backstroke swimmer from the Netherlands. She left an indelible mark on the sport, particularly with her stunning victory at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. It was during this Olympic Games that she showcased her remarkable determination and skill, winning the 100 meters backstroke despite facing an unexpected setback.

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United StatesSwimmer

Sharon Finneran

Sharon Evans Finneran (born February 4, 1946), also known by her married name Sharon Rittenhouse, is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in three events. She represented the United States as an 18-year-old at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Finneran received a silver medal for her second-place finish in the women’s 400-meter individual medley. In 1981, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Marie Braun

Marie Braun, a prominent Dutch swimmer, made her mark in the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics and set numerous records throughout her career. Braun’s passion for swimming was nurtured by her father, a renowned Dutch swimming coach. She became one of the youngest Olympic gold medalists at the age of sixteen in 1928. Despite her premature retirement, Braun’s impact on the sport of swimming cannot be undermined, and her dedication and talent continue to inspire swimmers today.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Shane Gould

Shane Gould, the Australian former competition swimmer, made history at the 1972 Summer Olympics by winning three gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze. Her remarkable talent and dedication to the sport earned her multiple accolades, including being named Australian of the Year in 1972. Despite taking a break from competitive swimming, Gould’s passion for the sport remained strong, inspiring a new generation of swimmers. She made a surprising comeback in 2018, winning the fifth season of Australian Survivor and becoming the oldest winner in the show’s history.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Enith Brigitha

Enith Brigitha, born in 1955 on the West Indian Island of Curacao, made history as the first black athlete to secure a swimming medal at the Olympic Games. Her remarkable swimming abilities led her to win two bronze medals at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Despite facing challenges, including the East Germany doping controversy, Brigitha’s dedication and success made her an influential figure in women’s history.

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HungarySwimmer

Krisztina Egerszegi

Krisztina Egerszegi is a Hungarian former world record-holding swimmer and one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era. Her achievements in the sport of swimming have left an indelible mark on the history of Hungarian and international swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Lynne Burke

Lynn Edythe Burke, born on March 22, 1943, is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events. Her incredible achievements in the pool not only solidified her status as one of the greatest swimmers of her time but also paved the way for future generations of female athletes.

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United StatesSwimmer

Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Caroline Ederle, born in 1906 in New York City, was a trailblazing American competition swimmer who shattered records and empowered women athletes. Her remarkable achievements include winning gold as part of the 4×100 meter freestyle relay team at the 1924 Summer Olympics and becoming the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926, challenging societal norms and inspiring generations of female athletes.

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GermanySwimmer

Krisitin Otto

Kristin Otto is a German Olympic swimming champion who made history by winning six gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. She also held world records in the 100 meter and 200 meter freestyle events. Despite facing setbacks and obstacles throughout her career, Otto’s talent and determination allowed her to leave an indelible mark on the sport of swimming.

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HungaryJewishSwimmer

Andrea Gyarmati

Andrea Gyarmati, born in Budapest, Hungary in 1954, followed in her parents’ Olympic footsteps to become a standout swimmer. Competing in multiple events at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, Gyarmati’s notable achievements include winning a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 1972. Her dedication to the sport, numerous national championships, and world records have made her an inspiration for swimmers worldwide.

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CanadaSwimmer

Anne Ottenbrite

Anne Ottenbrite (born May 12, 1966) is a Canadian former breaststroke swimmer, who won three medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles: gold (200-metre breaststroke), silver (100-metre breaststroke), and bronze (4×100-metre medley relay). In the last event, she was accompanied by Reema Abdo, Michelle MacPherson, and Pamela Rai. Ottenbrite attended the University of Southern California and swam for the USC Trojans swimming and diving team.

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United StatesSwimmer

Kaye Hall

Kaye Marie Hall, an American former competition swimmer, achieved great success in her swimming career. She won two gold medals and a bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics and set a new world record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke. Hall’s exceptional talent and dedication to swimming led to her induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and other prestigious awards.

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LithuaniaSwimmer

Lina Kaciusyte

Lina Kačiušytė, born on January 1, 1963 in Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, is a renowned Lithuanian swimmer who competed for the Soviet Union. She made a significant impact in the world of swimming, leaving a lasting legacy through her remarkable achievements and contributions to the sport.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Judy Grinham

Judith Brenda Grinham MBE, born in 1939 in London, was a trailblazer in British women’s swimming. Her gold medal win in the 1956 Olympic Games put her in the history books, becoming the first Briton to win an Olympic swimming gold medal in over three decades. Grinham’s achievements and dedication to the sport have left a lasting impact on British women’s sports history.

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United StatesJewishSwimmer

Rebecca Soni

Rebecca Soni, born in 1987, is an American former competition swimmer and breaststroke specialist. She is known for her incredible achievements in swimming, including being a six-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder. Soni’s impact on women’s swimming is undeniable, and she continues to inspire future generations.

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GermanySwimmer

Dagmar Hase

Dagmar Hase, born in 1969 in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt, East Germany, is a former German swimmer known for her exceptional skills in freestyle and backstroke. She achieved remarkable success throughout her career, winning seven Olympic medals and defeating renowned swimmers such as Janet Evans and Krisztina Egerszegi. Hase’s contributions to women’s sports are undeniable, and she remains an inspiration for aspiring athletes.

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GermanySwimmer

Britta Steffen

Britta Steffen is a German competitive swimmer who made her mark in the swimming world by winning six titles at the European Junior Championships. She had a successful career, breaking world records and winning gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships. Steffen’s impact on the sport and her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s swimming continues to inspire aspiring swimmers.

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United StatesVenezuelaSwimmer

Carrie Steinseifer

Carrie Steinseifer, born Carolyn Lynne Steinseifer on February 12, 1968, is a former American competition swimmer and Olympic champion. Known for her remarkable achievements in the pool, she left an indelible mark on the sport during the 1980s. Steinseifer’s dedication, talent, and unwavering commitment to excellence propelled her to the top of the swimming world.

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CanadaSwimmer

Elaine Tanner

Elaine Tanner-Watt, nicknamed “Mighty Mouse,” made history in Canadian swimming by winning four gold medals at the 1966 Commonwealth Games. Her dominance continued at the 1967 Pan American Games where she broke two world records. Despite facing personal challenges and struggles with mental health, Tanner found a renewed sense of purpose and now works to empower individuals facing adversity through her charity organization Team Underdog.

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United StatesSwimmer

Susie Atwood

Susanne Jean Atwood, born on June 5, 1953, is a notable American former competition swimmer, two-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder. Atwood’s early success in swimming marked the beginning of a remarkable career that influenced women’s history in sports.

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United StatesSwimmer

Dara Torres

Dara Grace Torres, born in 1967 in Los Angeles, California, showed exceptional talent in swimming from a young age. She went on to become a decorated Olympic swimmer and one of the greatest athletes of all time. Torres defied age expectations and inspired countless individuals with her determination and perseverance. Her story serves as an inspiration to all, showing that with relentless dedication and belief in oneself, extraordinary achievements can be realized.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Mina Wylie

Wilhelmina “Mina” Wylie was a trailblazer in Olympic swimming and one of Australia’s pioneering female athletes. Alongside her friend Fanny Durack, she became one of the first two women to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. Wylie’s remarkable career, including winning a silver medal at the 1912 Olympics, helped pave the way for future generations of female athletes. She passed away in 1984 but continues to be remembered as an inspirational figure in the world of sports.

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United StatesSwimmer

Cathy Ferguson

Cathy Jean Ferguson, an American former competition swimmer, became an Olympic champion and world record-holder. She achieved greatness at a young age, winning a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Ferguson’s talent and dedication to the sport earned her a place in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1978.

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United StatesActorSwimmer

Esther Williams

Esther Jane Williams, born in 1921 in Inglewood, California, was an American competitive swimmer and actress. She rose to fame for her aquatic performances and starred in iconic “aquamusical” films during the 1940s and 1950s. Williams also made significant contributions to synchronized swimming and became a successful businesswoman. Her inspiring journey from swimmer to film star and entrepreneur continues to inspire generations.

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United StatesSwimmer

Ann Curtis

Ann Curtis, an American competition swimmer, made history by becoming the first woman to receive the James E. Sullivan Award. At the 1948 Olympics, she won a gold medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle and was part of the gold medal-winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay team. Curtis left a lasting impact on the sport with her impressive record-breaking performances and later went on to inspire future generations as a swimming teacher. She passed away in 2012, leaving behind a legacy of pioneering achievements in women’s swimming.

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Great BritainSwimmer

Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington OBE, born in 1989 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, is a former British competitive swimmer who achieved great success in freestyle events. Her remarkable achievements include winning two gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, breaking world records and becoming a national hero. Adlington’s impact on British swimming has inspired a new generation of swimmers and solidified her status as one of the all-time greats in the sport.

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United StatesSwimmer

Mary Wayte

Mary Wayte Bradburne is an American former competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. She had a remarkable swimming career, winning multiple medals and leaving a lasting impact on the sport.

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CroatiaSwimmer

Djurdjica Bjedov

Đurđa “Đurđica” Bjedov, born on April 5, 1947, in Split, Yugoslavia (present-day Croatia), became the only Yugoslav Olympic champion in swimming. She stunned the world at the 1968 Olympics by winning gold in the 100m breaststroke and breaking the Olympic record. Bjedov’s success continued with a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke, and she was honored as the Yugoslav Athlete of the Year in 1968. After retiring, she became a swimming coach and has left a lasting legacy in the sport.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Beverly Whitfield

Beverly Joy Whitfield was an Australian breaststroke swimmer who achieved great success in the 1970s. She became a prominent figure in the world of swimming, leaving a lasting impact on the sport. Whitfield’s remarkable journey to becoming an Olympic gold medalist spanned over many years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

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New ZealandRowingSwimmer

Grace Prendergast

Grace Elizabeth Prendergast, born in 1992 in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a former New Zealand sweep rower known for her outstanding talent and numerous accomplishments in the sport. As the highest ranked female rower in the world in 2019 and 2021, Prendergast’s remarkable success and unwavering dedication have made her a true legend in women’s rowing history.

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United StatesBasketballGolfer

Charlotte West

Charlotte West was a trailblazing advocate for women’s sports and a driving force behind the implementation and success of Title IX. Born on October 11, 1937, in Benton, Illinois, West’s passion for athletics and commitment to gender equality left an indelible mark on the world of sports.

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United StatesDiverSwimmer

Betty Becker Pinkston

Elizabeth Anna Becker-Pinkston, an influential American diver, overcame illness and setbacks to become an Olympic champion and trailblazer for female athletes. Her love for swimming and diving started at a young age, and she went on to win gold and silver medals at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Her legacy is further amplified by being one half of the first husband-wife team inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame.

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United StatesDiverSwimmer

Helen Meany

Helen Meany (later Gravis) was an American diver who competed in the 1920, 1924, and 1928 Summer Olympics. She won the gold medal in the 3-meter springboard event at the 1928 Olympics, becoming the first American female diver to achieve this feat. Her dominance in American diving, with 17 AAU titles, cemented her legacy as a pioneering female diver and an inspiration to future generations. In 1971, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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ChinaDiverSwimmer

Zhou Jihong

Zhou Jihong, born in Wuhan in 1965, is a Chinese diver who won the first gold medal for Chinese diving. Her most notable achievement came in 1984 during the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where she became the first Chinese diver to win a gold medal. Zhou’s influence extended beyond the pool, as she guided and inspired a new generation of divers as the team leader and played a crucial role in the Chinese diving team’s outstanding performance in multiple Olympics.

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United StatesDiverSwimmer

Patty Elsner

Patty Elsner, an American diver, made significant contributions to the sport during the mid-20th century. Her talent and determination were showcased at the 1948 Summer Olympics, where she earned a silver medal in the 10-meter platform and a bronze in the 3-meter springboard. Elsner’s dedication to her craft and pioneering spirit helped pave the way for future generations of female athletes.

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United StatesDiverSwimmer

Megan Neyer

Megan Neyer was an American former competition springboard and platform diver. She was a member of the ill-fated 1980 U.S. Olympic team, the 1982 world champion springboard diver, a fifteen-time U.S. national diving champion, and an eight-time NCAA champion. Neyer’s dedication and determination have inspired aspiring divers around the world, making her an icon in the annals of diving history.

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United StatesDiverSwimmer

Paula Jean Myers Pope

Paula Jean Myers Pope was an American diver and Olympic medalist. She made her debut at the 1952 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 10-meter tower event. Throughout her career, she earned a total of four Olympic medals, solidifying her place among the greatest divers of her time. Myers Pope’s impact on the sport was recognized, and she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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RussiaPoliticianSwimmer

Maria Kiseleva

Mariya Aleksandrovna Kiselyova, known as Maria Kiseleva, was a remarkable figure in the world of synchronized swimming. She achieved numerous successes as an athlete, a TV show presenter, and a politician in the United Russia party. Kiseleva’s partnership with Olga Brusnikina resulted in multiple Olympic gold medals and domination in the synchronized swimming world. Beyond her achievements in the pool, she used her platform to advocate for important issues and make a positive impact on society.

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SwedenDiverDiving

Greta Johanson Brandsten

Greta Johansson Brandsten, born Anna Teresa Margareta Johansson on January 9, 1895, was a Swedish diver and swimmer who made history as the first Olympic diving champion in 1912. She was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, where she developed a passion for swimming and diving at an early age.

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United StatesSwimmer

Charlotte Boyle

Charlotte Duggan Boyle, born in 1899, was an American competition swimmer and world record holder, known for her exceptional talent and dedication. She represented the United States at the 1920 Summer Olympics and held two world records. Boyle’s contributions to women’s swimming, both as an athlete and a teacher, have left a lasting impact on the sport. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1988.

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United StatesSwimmer

Natalie Coughlin

Natalie Anne Coughlin Hall, born on August 23, 1982, in Vallejo, California, is an American former competition swimmer. Throughout her career, Coughlin displayed an exceptional talent for swimming, becoming one of the most decorated and influential athletes in the sport. Her incredible skill and determination propelled her to becoming a twelve-time Olympic medalist and a groundbreaking figure in women’s swimming.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Let van Feggelen

Irène “Iet” Maria Jo Arnoldina van Feggelen, commonly known as Let van Feggelen, was a Dutch backstroke swimmer who left a lasting impact on the world of swimming and synchronized swimming. She showed exceptional talent in backstroke and set multiple world records in the 1930s. Despite the challenges of World War II, she continued to compete and later became a coach, playing a crucial role in popularizing synchronized swimming in Europe.

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CanadaMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Marilyn Bell

Marilyn Bell Di Lascio, a Canadian long-distance swimmer, became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. She also accomplished impressive feats such as swimming the English Channel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Her legacy extends beyond her swimming achievements, as she continues to inspire individuals worldwide to defy odds and pursue their dreams.

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GermanySwimmer

Hilde Scrader

Hildegard “Hilde” Schrader was a German swimmer who made a significant impact in the sport during the late 1920s. Born on January 4, 1910, Schrader quickly rose to prominence as one of the most talented breaststrokers of her time. Her achievements at the 1928 Olympic Games and the 1927 European Championships solidified her status as a true pioneer in women’s swimming.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Allison Streeter

Allison Streeter, born in 1964 in London, is a renowned English long-distance swimmer who has achieved remarkable feats in the world of open water swimming. Her passion for swimming and incredible endurance propelled her to set numerous world records and become one of the most accomplished swimmers in the world. Streeter’s legacy as a trailblazer and role model in women’s history is indisputable, inspiring countless individuals to pursue their dreams.

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United KingdomMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Mercedes Gleitze

Mercedes Gleitze (1900-1981) was a British professional swimmer who achieved numerous groundbreaking accomplishments in the early 20th century. Born in Brighton to German immigrant parents, she became known for her endurance swimming, breaking records and inspiring others with her determination and courage.

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CanadaPoliticianSwimmer

Cindy Nicholas

Cynthia Maria “Cindy” Nicholas was a pioneering long-distance swimmer and politician from Ontario, Canada. She gained fame for her numerous achievements in the water, including multiple crossings of the English Channel. Nicholas also made a significant impact in politics, serving as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Her legacy as an athlete and public servant continues to inspire others.

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JapanSwimmer

Satoko Takeuji

Satoko Takeuji is a renowned Japanese swimmer who has made a significant impact both on and off the pool deck. Born in Japan, Satoko’s journey in swimming began at a young age, and her exceptional talent would propel her onto the world stage.

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United StatesSwimmer

Helene Madison

Helene Emma Madison, born in 1913 in Madison, Wisconsin, displayed a natural talent for swimming from a young age. At the 1932 Summer Olympics, she won three gold medals in freestyle events, solidifying her position as a rising star in the swimming world. Madison also made a lasting impact by breaking numerous world records and later ventured into the world of acting. Despite personal challenges and battles with throat cancer, Madison’s determination and resilience remained strong until her death in 1970. Her contributions to swimming and the recognition she received from various halls of fame continue to inspire new generations of athletes.

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UkraineSwimmer

Yana Klochkova

Yana Klochkova, born in 1982 in Simferopol, Ukraine, has made a significant impact on swimming. With five Olympic medals, including four gold, she is the most awarded Olympian from Ukraine. Not only did she excel at the Olympics, but she also dominated world and European championships. Klochkova’s impressive career and dedication to the sport have left a lasting legacy on women’s sports history.

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GermanySwimmer

Caren Metschuck

Caren Metschuck (later Caren Mahn, born 27 September 1963) is a German former swimmer and a multiple Olympic gold medalist. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest female swimmers of her time and is remembered for her exceptional achievements in the sport.

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United StatesSwimmer

Martha Norelius

Martha Norelius was a Swedish-born American competition swimmer who became an Olympic gold medalist and a world record-holder in freestyle swimming events. She made waves in the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics, winning gold medals and setting new records. Her dedication, skill, and remarkable achievements continue to inspire generations of swimmers.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Hendrika Mastenbroek

Hendrika “Rie” Wilhelmina Mastenbroek, born on February 26, 1919, in Rotterdam, was a Dutch swimmer and a triple Olympic champion. Her remarkable achievements and contributions to the world of swimming have made her a prominent figure in women’s sports history. Mastenbroek represented the Netherlands at the Summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936, where she won three Olympic gold medals in the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 4x100m freestyle relay. She later became a swimming instructor and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968. She passed away in Rotterdam on November 6, 2003.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Susan O’Neill

Susan O’Neill, also known as “Madame Butterfly,” is an Australian former competitive swimmer who achieved great success in her swimming career. She won a total of eight Olympic Games medals and set records in various events. O’Neill’s dedication to the sport and her contributions to the Olympic movement have left a lasting impact.

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United StatesSwimmer

Mary Meagher

Mary Terstegge Meagher Plant is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and world record-holder. She is considered one of the greatest female swimmers in history, known particularly for her dominance in the butterfly stroke. Meagher set numerous world records and received several accolades throughout her career, becoming a trailblazer for future generations of female swimmers. Her contributions to the sport and her legacy as one of the greatest butterfly swimmers of all time continue to be celebrated.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Gail Neal

Gail Neall, an Australian former medley swimmer, made a name for herself in the 1970s. Winning a gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the 1972 Summer Olympics in world record time, Neall’s victory inspired young female athletes both in Australia and around the world. Her legacy extends beyond her athletic achievements as she became an advocate for women’s sports, pushing for equal opportunities and recognition.

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United StatesSwimmer

Betsy Mitchell

Betsy Mitchell (born January 15, 1966) is an American competition swimmer who has left an indelible mark on the sport. With a career that spans multiple disciplines and a string of accomplishments, Mitchell has established herself as one of the most successful swimmers in history.

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HungarySwimmer

Agnes Kovacs

Ágnes Kovács, born on July 13, 1981, in Budapest, is a Hungarian swimmer who has left an indelible mark on the sport. Competing at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics, Kovács showcased her exceptional talent and became a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes around the world.

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United StatesSwimmer

Debbie Meyer

Deborah Elizabeth Meyer, an American former competition swimmer, made history as a three-time Olympic champion in the 1968 Summer Olympics. She became the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals in one Olympics, a feat only matched in 2016. Meyer set world records and became a trailblazer in women’s swimming, inspiring generations of female swimmers.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Mary Kok

Mary Kok (born in 1940 in Hilversum) is a renowned Dutch swimmer who made a significant impact on the world of swimming during the 1950s. At a young age, between 1954 and 1957, she set an impressive ten world records, showcasing her incredible talent and determination.

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United StatesSwimmer

Karen Moe

Karen Moe Humphreys, known as Karen Moe, is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and former world record-holder. She dominated the women’s 200-meter butterfly event in the 1970s, setting multiple world records and winning gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Moe’s contributions extended beyond the pool as a successful coach and administrator, leaving a lasting legacy in the sport of swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Nathalie Schneyder

Nathalie Schneyder (born May 25, 1968) is an American competitor in synchronized swimming and Olympic champion. Born in San Francisco, California, she has left an indelible mark on the sport with her exceptional talent and groundbreaking achievements.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Louise Rice, OAM, is an Australian former competitive swimmer who made a significant impact on the world stage. With her outstanding achievements and groundbreaking performances, she left an indelible mark on the sport.

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United StatesActivistSwimmer

Florence Chadwick

Florence Chadwick was an American swimmer known for her achievements in long-distance open water swimming. She made history as the first woman to successfully swim across the English Channel in both directions, setting time records on each occasion. Chadwick also conquered other challenging channels, leaving an indelible mark on the world of swimming and inspiring future generations of female athletes.

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AustraliaPoliticianSwimmer

Dawn Fraser

Dawn Fraser AC MBE is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer and former politician. She is one of only four swimmers to have won the same Olympic individual event three times – in her case the women’s 100-metre freestyle. Fraser’s swimming career was extraordinary, winning multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medals. Despite controversy and tragedy, she remained determined and became an influential figure in both sports and politics, inspiring many.

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GermanySwimmer

Franziska van Almsick

Franziska van Almsick, born in Berlin, Germany in 1978, is a German former swimmer who became one of the most successful swimmers of her time. From her Olympic debut at the age of 14 to her numerous record-breaking performances and Olympic medals, Franziska’s impact on the world of swimming is undeniable. Beyond her achievements in the pool, she also represented German unity and resilience during a time of division in the country. Her legacy as a global icon and inspiration to future athletes is unmatched.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Michelle Ford

Michelle Jan Ford MBE, an Australian former long-distance freestyle and butterfly swimmer, achieved gold in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 200m butterfly at the 1980 Summer Olympics. She was the only non-Soviet bloc female swimmer to win an individual gold medal at the games. Ford’s versatility in different swimming strokes shattered expectations and inspired future generations of female swimmers.

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United StatesDiverDiving

Helen Wainwright

Helen Wainwright, also known as Helen Stelling, was a trailblazing competition diver and swimmer who represented the United States in the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics. She made history as the only woman to win Olympic silver medals in both swimming and diving. A natural talent from a young age, Wainwright became a role model for aspiring female athletes and her legacy continues to inspire determination and excellence in sports.

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HungarySwimmer

Valerie Gyenge

Valéria Gyenge, born in Hungary in 1933, became one of the most successful swimmers of her time. She won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle event at the 1952 Summer Olympics, solidifying her status as a national symbol of pride. Gyenge shattered multiple world records and earned 23 Hungarian national records throughout her career, leaving an enduring legacy in the sport.

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United StatesSwimmer

Chris von Saltza

Susan Christina von Saltza, better known as Chris von Saltza, was born on January 13, 1944, in California, United States. She is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in four events. Von Saltza began her swimming career at a young age as a member of the Santa Clara Swim Club, coached by George Haines. Under his guidance, she achieved remarkable success and led the club to multiple team championships at the national level.

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DenmarkSwimmer

Karen Harup

Karen Margrethe Harup Petersen, born in Denmark in 1924, discovered her passion for swimming at a young age. She showcased her exceptional talent at the European Championships in 1947, winning three gold medals. Harup continued to excel at the 1948 Summer Olympics, earning a gold medal and two silver medals. Her achievements made her an inspiration for future generations of female swimmers. Her legacy as one of Denmark’s greatest swimmers is unforgettable.

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United StatesSwimmer

Amy Van Dyken

Amy Deloris Van Dyken-Rouen is an American former competitive swimmer, Olympic champion, former world record-holder, and national radio sports talk show co-host. Van Dyken’s impact on women’s sports, her resilience in the face of adversity, and her astonishing achievements have solidified her place in history as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. Her journey as a trailblazer for women in sports has paved the way for future generations of female athletes, showing them that with passion and dedication, anything is possible.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Jodie Henry

Jodie Clare Henry, born in 1983 in Brisbane, Queensland, is a prominent Australian competitive swimmer. She quickly rose to fame in the international swimming scene, winning multiple gold medals and setting world records. Her outstanding performance at the 2004 Olympics in Athens solidified her status as one of Australia’s greatest swimmers.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Nel van Vliet

Petronella “Nel” van Vliet, born on January 17, 1926 in Hilversum, the Netherlands, overcame obstacles to become a renowned breaststroke swimmer. She achieved great success in her career, winning gold medals at the 1947 European Aquatics Championships and the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. Despite facing bureaucratic issues early on, van Vliet’s determination and skill propelled her to become an inspiration and a true pioneer in the history of swimming. She passed away on January 4, 2006, leaving behind an enduring legacy in the sport.

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GermanySwimmer

Ursula Happe

Ursula Happe, a German swimmer and Olympic champion, faced challenges and hardships throughout her life but overcame them to become Germany’s first post-war athletic hero. Born in 1926 in Gdansk, she showed early promise in swimming and went on to win numerous national championships. She competed in the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, winning a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke in Melbourne. Happe’s dedication and determination continue to inspire many.

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United StatesSwimmer

Lillian “Pokey” Watson

Lillian Debra Watson, known as “Pokey” Watson, was an American former competition swimmer. She achieved great success in her career, winning two Olympic gold medals and setting world records in multiple events. Watson’s dedication and talent continue to inspire athletes around the world.

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South AfricaSwimmer

Penny Heyns

Penelope Heyns, born in 1974, is a former South African swimmer known for her exceptional breaststroke swimming ability. She made history at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games by winning gold medals in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events, becoming South Africa’s first Olympic gold medalist since 1992. Heyns’ remarkable career and inspiring achievements have left a lasting impact on the world of swimming.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Lorraine Crapp

Lorraine Crapp, the Australian Olympic swimming champion, broke numerous world records and set a historic milestone in her career by becoming the first woman to break the five-minute barrier in the 400 m freestyle. Her extraordinary achievements in swimming, including winning Olympic gold and silver medals, inspired individuals around the world and shattered stereotypes in women’s swimming.

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PolandSwimmer

Otylia Jedrzejczak

Otylia Jędrzejczak, a renowned Polish swimmer, began her swimming journey at the age of six to correct a slight curvature of her spine. She quickly became a rising star in the swimming world, winning titles in various championships and breaking world records. Jędrzejczak’s crowning achievement came in the 2004 Summer Olympics, where she won a historic gold medal in the 200m butterfly. Her dedication, perseverance, and love for the sport continue to inspire aspiring athletes worldwide.

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NetherlandsSwimmer

Inge de Bruijn

Inge de Bruijn, a Dutch former competitive swimmer, is widely regarded as one of the greatest female swimmers of all time. With her remarkable success in the sport, including four Olympic gold medals and multiple world records, Inge has left an indelible mark on swimming. Her determination and skill continue to inspire athletes around the world.

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United StatesSwimmer

Lenore Knight

Lenore M. Kight, also known as Lenore Wingard, was a competitive swimmer from the United States who made her mark on the sport. She represented her country at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics, earning a silver medal and a bronze medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle event, respectively. Kight’s numerous world and national records, along with her 23 national swimming titles, solidified her as one of the most accomplished swimmers of her time. Her contributions to swimming were recognized in 1981 when she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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United StatesSwimmer

Virginia Duenkel

Ginny Duenkel, born in 1947 in West Orange, New Jersey, made a name for herself as an Olympic champion and world record holder in swimming. At the 1964 Olympics, she won gold in the women’s 400m freestyle and bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke. Duenkel’s remarkable career and numerous achievements solidified her status as one of the sport’s most accomplished athletes. She continues to inspire swimmers, particularly women, to pursue their dreams and make their mark in the pool.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Claire Dennis

Clare Dennis, later known as Clare Golding, was an Australian breaststroke swimmer who won the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Her determination and persistence defined her throughout her swimming career, and she left an indelible mark on Australian women’s swimming. Clare’s legacy as an Olympic champion and inspiring figure continues to inspire future generations of female athletes.

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ItalySwimmer

Novella Calligaris

Novella Calligaris (born 27 December 1954) is a retired Italian swimmer who made history as the first Italian to win an Olympic medal in swimming. Novella’s breakthrough moment came at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, where she defied all expectations and emerged as a medalist in every event she competed in. Her outstanding performance at the Olympics catapulted her to the forefront of Italian swimming and marked a significant milestone for women in the sport.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Fanny Durack

Fanny Durack, an influential figure in swimming and a pioneer for women athletes, dominated the Australian swimming scene and became the world’s greatest female swimmer from 1910 to 1918. She won an Olympic gold medal in 1912 and set numerous world records, inspiring athletes around the world. In addition to her incredible achievements, she became a symbol of unity during World War I. Fanny Durack’s legacy as a trailblazer and role model for women’s empowerment lives on.

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United StatesSwimmer

Carin Cone

Carin Cone, an American former competition swimmer, made a significant impact in the world of swimming throughout her career. She won a silver medal in the 1956 Summer Olympics and set an impressive total of seven world records in the backstroke discipline. Cone was known for her exceptional skill and technique in the backstroke, earning her the nickname “queen of backstrokers.” Her achievements and influence on women’s sports have solidified her place in history as a true trailblazer.

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United StatesActivistSportscaster

Donna DeVarona

Donna de Varona Pinto OLY is an American former competition swimmer, activist, and television sportscaster. She made history by qualifying for the U.S. Olympic swimming team at the young age of 13 and went on to become one of the greatest swimmers of her time, winning multiple gold medals and setting numerous world records. After retiring from swimming, De Varona became one of the first women sportscasters for a national network, breaking barriers for future generations of female sportscasters. She also dedicated herself to advocating for sports and fitness opportunities for America’s youth and played a pivotal role in shaping Olympic sports governance in the United States. De Varona’s contributions to women’s history and equality in sports are truly remarkable.

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Sri LankaSwimmer

Joyce Cooper

Margaret Joyce Cooper, later known as Joyce Badcock, was a prominent English competitive swimmer who represented Great Britain at the Olympics and European championships, as well as England at the British Empire Games, during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

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GermanySwimmer

Kornelia Ender

Kornelia Ender emerged as a prominent figure in the world of swimming during the 1970s, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Breaking an astonishing 32 world records in individual events, she became one of the greatest swimmers of her generation. However, controversy arose surrounding her achievements due to the state-sponsored doping program in East Germany. Ender’s story illuminates the sacrifices and compromises forced upon athletes in pursuit of national glory.

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United StatesSwimmer

Tracy Caulkins

Tracy Anne Stockwell, also known as Tracy Anne Caulkins, is a former American competition swimmer who achieved great success in the sport. She won multiple Olympic gold medals and set numerous world records. Her versatility and proficiency in all four swimming strokes have made her one of the greatest swimmers of all time. Tracy Caulkins’ impact on women’s sports, breaking stereotypes and empowering future generations of female swimmers, is immeasurable.

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United StatesSwimmer

Janet Evans

Janet Evans OLY is an American former competition swimmer who won four gold medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Her unorthodox “windmill” stroke and enduring cardiovascular endurance made her a force to be reckoned with. Despite her small stature, she triumphed over larger and stronger athletes, inspiring countless athletes to pursue their dreams and strive for excellence in the pool.

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United StatesJewishSwimmer

Tiffany Cohen

Tiffany Lisa Cohen, born on June 11, 1966, is an American former swimmer who made significant contributions to the sport during her career. She gained recognition as a double gold medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics, securing victories in both the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events. Cohen is known not only for her exceptional swimming abilities but also for her devout Jewish faith.

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United StatesSwimmer

Claire Galligan

Claire Agnes Galligan, born in 1895 in New York, was a trailblazing American freestyle swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport during the early 20th century. Despite her career being cut short, Galligan’s achievements, including being the first female AAU champion and setting a world record, paved the way for future generations of female athletes. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970.

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GermanySwimmer

Hannelore Anke

Hannelore Anke (later Hofmann; born 8 December 1957) is a retired German swimmer who competed for East Germany in the 1970s. She had a remarkable career in swimming, leaving a lasting impact on the sport and women’s history. Anke was born in 1957 in Bad Schlema. Growing up, she was surrounded by a supportive family. Her mother held a senior position in a textile manufacturing plant, while her father worked as a decorative painter. Anke was the sixth of seven children and held a special place in East Germany’s history as the first god-child of Wilhelm Pieck, the president of East Germany at the time of her birth.

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United StatesSwimmer

Summer Sanders

Summer Elisabeth Sanders was a talented and determined swimmer. From a young age, she showed her passion for swimming and joined an age-group swimming program in Roseville, California. With the support and guidance of her coaches, she quickly made a name for herself in the swimming world. Sanders went on to achieve remarkable success at both the collegiate and international levels, including winning gold at the Olympic Games. Her dedication and achievements made her an inspiration for aspiring swimmers.

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DenmarkMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Greta Andersen

Greta Marie Andersen, a Danish swimmer, had a remarkable career in swimming. She won gold and silver medals at the 1948 London Olympics and set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. Andersen’s endurance and determination were showcased through her numerous successful crossings of the English Channel. In recognition of her achievements, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Her legacy as a groundbreaking swimmer and her perseverance continue to inspire future generations.

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United StatesSwimmer

Shirley Babashoff

Shirley Frances Babashoff, an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder, was born on January 31, 1957. Throughout her illustrious career, she set six world records and earned a total of nine Olympic medals. Babashoff’s incredible talent and determination made her a force to be reckoned with in the world of swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Amanda Beard

Amanda Ray Beard, also known as Amanda Brown, is an American swimmer and a seven-time Olympic medalist. She made her Olympic debut at the age of 14, winning three medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Throughout her career, Beard has achieved remarkable success both individually and as part of a team, becoming a dominant force in the world of swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Catie Ball

Catie Ball, born on September 30, 1951, in Jacksonville, Florida, emerged as a prominent figure in swimming during her teenage years. She achieved remarkable success as a competition swimmer, including setting world records and winning gold medals at the Pan American Games and the Olympics. Ball’s accomplishments and influence have left a lasting impact on the sport, making her one of swimming’s greats.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Petria Thomas

Petria Ann Thomas, OAM was born on August 25, 1975, in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. She grew up in the nearby town of Mullumbimby, where she developed a passion for swimming at a young age. Thomas would go on to become one of Australia’s most accomplished swimmers, winning numerous national and international titles and making a significant impact on the world of swimming.

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United StatesSwimmer

Patty Carreto

Patty Carreto revolutionized women’s swimming with her windmill stroke — a continuous arm turnover and a two beat kick. At just 13 years old, 98 pounds, and 5 feet 1 inch tall, she became the second youngest, shortest, and smallest “giant” to set a world record.

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United StatesSwimmer

Gloria Callen

Gloria Marie Callen (1923-2016) was an American backstroke swimmer whose exceptional talent and dedication to the sport led her to set 35 American records and one world record in her career. Despite not being able to compete in world championships or the Olympic Games due to World War II, her impact on the world of swimming was undeniable. She was recognized with prestigious honors and inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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FranceSwimmer

Christine “Kiki” Caron

Christine “Kiki” Caron, born in 1948, made a significant impact on the world of swimming as a French former backstroke swimmer. She achieved both national and international success, winning gold in the 100m backstroke at the 1966 European Aquatics Championships and a silver medal in the 100m backstroke at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Caron’s legacy as a trailblazer in women’s swimming continues to inspire future generations of female athletes.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Libby Trickett

Libby Trickett, one of the greatest swimmers of her time, had an illustrious career that included winning gold medals at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. She also held the world record in the short-course 100-meter freestyle. Trickett’s dedication and skills in the pool made her a legendary figure in the world of swimming, inspiring future generations of female athletes.

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United StatesSwimmerWater Polo

Maggie Steffens

Margaret Ann Steffens, known as Maggie Steffens, is an American water polo player who has achieved remarkable success in her career. She began her water polo journey at Monte Vista High School, helping the team secure the league championship multiple times. Steffens continued to excel in college at Stanford University, leading the team to three NCAA championships. She also made significant strides in the international water polo scene, representing the United States and securing multiple victories. Steffens’ outstanding skills and determination culminated in her winning three Olympic gold medals and setting a new Olympic record for most goals scored in a women’s water polo tournament.

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TurkmenistanSwimmerWeight Lifting

Ýulduz Jumabaýewa

Ýulduz Jumabaýewa, born in Turkmenistan in 1998, is a renowned weightlifter who has achieved great success in the sport. Her dedication and talent have led her to become a world champion, bringing pride to her country. Jumabaýewa’s journey began in 2010, guided by her uncle and wrestling trainer, which ignited her passion for weightlifting. She has showcased her strength and skills in various championships, solidifying her place as one of the top weightlifters in Asia. Despite facing challenges, Jumabaýewa’s commitment to clean sportsmanship has made her a role model for aspiring athletes in Turkmenistan.

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GermanySwimmer

Petra Schneider

“Petra Schneider, born in 1963 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz), was a prominent medley and freestyle swimmer from East Germany during the 1970s and 1980s. Despite her undeniable talent and extraordinary achievements, Schneider’s career is overshadowed by the state-run systematic doping program that plagued East Germany’s sports scene. In 1980, she won an Olympic gold medal in the 400 m individual medley at the Summer Olympics in Moscow, setting her mark in history. Schneider’s legacy remains complicated due to her later admitting to having been doped with performance-enhancing drugs [2]. In 2005, she even called for her last remaining record, the German national record in the 400 m individual medley, to be removed from the books, acknowledging that it was achieved with the aid of steroids [3].”

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JapanSwimmer

Mayumi Aoki

Mayumi Aoki was a renowned Japanese swimmer, known for her exceptional achievements in the sport. Aoki made history in 1972 by becoming Japan’s first female Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer in 40 years. Her victory in the 100m butterfly event at the Munich Games solidified her place in the annals of swimming history. Aoki’s legacy includes breaking barriers and inspiring generations of female athletes. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989.

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United StatesSwimmer

Sybil Bauer

Sybil Bauer, an American competition swimmer and Olympic champion, was a trailblazer in the world of sports. From setting numerous world records to becoming the first woman to break a men’s record, Bauer’s talent and dedication were unmatched. Despite her career being cut short by illness, she continued to inspire with her resilience and determination. Her impact on society extended beyond the pool, paving the way for future generations of women in sports.

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CanadaDiscus ThrowerShot Putter

Joanne Berdan

Joanne Berdan was a prominent Canadian medallist in Paralympic athletics. Born in 1963 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Berdan displayed exceptional athletic talent from a young age. She pursued her passion for sports and went on to achieve remarkable success in the field of Paralympic athletics.

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CanadaMexicoSwimmer

Martha Gustafson

Martha Sandoval Gustafson, born on January 8, 1950, is a Mexican-Canadian Paralympic medallist in table tennis, swimming, and athletics. Throughout her career, Gustafson showcased exceptional talent and determination, winning a total of twelve medals at the Paralympic Games and leaving an indelible mark on the world of adaptive sports.

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RussiaUnited StatesBasketball

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden, an American Paralympic athlete of Russian descent, overcame great adversity from a young age. Born with spina bifida and abandoned by her birth mother, she was adopted by a kind couple and brought to Baltimore. Despite her physical challenges, McFadden excelled in various sports, winning numerous Paralympic medals and becoming a champion in marathons. Her inspiring story and advocacy work have made her an influential figure in promoting inclusivity and equality.

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JapanUnited StatesMartial Artist

Keiko Fukuda

Keiko Fukuda (1913-2013) was a Japanese-American martial artist who made a lasting impact on the world of judo. As the highest-ranked female judoka in history and the last surviving student of judo’s founder, Kanō Jigorō, Fukuda was a pioneer for women in judo. Her remarkable journey and dedication to the sport continue to inspire and empower women around the world.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanGymnast

Gabby Douglas

Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas, better known as Gabby Douglas, was born on December 31, 1995, in Newport News, Virginia. She grew up in nearby Virginia Beach and developed her love for gymnastics at a young age. Her journey to becoming one of the most accomplished gymnasts in American history was filled with determination, hard work, and numerous achievements that established her as a trailblazer and an inspiration to countless young athletes.

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